1. Listen to Your Employees
Your employees are the people keeping your business operating. They are your most valuable asset, and it’s usually an expensive and time consuming process to replace an employee, so it’s important to create an enjoyable work environment.
Ask each staff member what frustrates them, what would they change about their job if they could? What are their suggestions to address these issues? After working in your business for a period of time, every employee is likely to have suggestions on how to improve their department. It’s important for them to feel heard, and there’s often minor adjustments that can be made that can improve someone’s work life, which will significantly increase morale.
Also ask what they like about their job. Everyone loves to vent about the negative, but encouraging them to think about and appreciate the positive aspects will help them keep things in perspective.
2. Clear Communication
It is crucial that each employee knows exactly what their role is in the business, and in relation to specific projects. Communication is key to avoiding misunderstandings (I thought someone else was doing that) and making employees responsible and accountable. Face to face discussions tend to be more productive than emails, giving employees the chance to ask questions and seek clarification where required.
It usually helps if employees understand the big picture and how they fit it, rather than just being told to perform a specific task without any context.
3. Staff Training
Proper staff training is essential for employees to fully understand their function within your business. Having practical training sessions run by senior staff and managers, as well as on the job training, will result in better quality output. Encourage senior staff and managers to be available to demonstrate and explain things in detail when a junior staff member has a question or issue. Developing staff so that they understand end to end processes and are able to take on more responsibility can take pressure off you and your management team.
4. Keep the Focus on the Desired Outcome, Not the Process
It is easy to get carried away with policies and procedures. While these are necessary for a business to function, it’s important to keep formal policy and procedure guidelines in line with the size and complexity of the business. Smaller businesses will generally need to allow staff more flexibility to deal with issues quickly. Encourage staff to think about the bigger picture and ask “What are we trying to achieve here?” rather than blindly following lists or templates.
5. Automated Systems
With a plethora of software and platform options available, many tasks can be automated or completed electronically. While there may be a steep learning curve, updating manual procedures is an absolute necessity for business growth and development. The most important part of implementing any new process is staff communication – explain what you are doing, why, and how it will impact them. Ensure they are trained properly on how to use any new system, so that you are getting the maximum results out of it.
What Efficiencies does Your Business Need?
With you at the helm of your business you don’t always see all the nuances, so getting your staff at all levels involved in feedback and generating ideas is a crucial to continuous business improvement. This will help you devise a strategy to implement changes to boost efficiency within your business. Keep in mind that this is not a one-off process. This is something that you should regularly review and update to ensure your business is running at its optimum level.
To dive deeper into efficiencies you can create in your business and work out strategies to get these implemented in the best way, please consider talking with us. Our team at BLG Business Advisers work with clients daily who have all come across hurdles in their business that are stalling their progress and need a hand to overcome them, so our team are available to assist you at any point you need it.
Whatever you decide we wish you every success!