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How You Can Improve Efficiency in Your Small Business

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Improving workplace efficiency for a small business starts with giving employees the tools that they need to use their time well. When you help your employees practice good time management skills, they’ll be better able to excel in their roles and maximize their full potential.

Help Your Staff Use Time Well

Check in with your staff regularly so you know about how they’re spending their time at work. You can help make sure that they’re spending an appropriate amount of time on the most important tasks and not spending too much time on lesser priority items. You may be clear about the biggest priority in a given workday or workweek, but your staff may not be. Maintaining a continuing dialog with staff about how they can use their time efficiently will help improve each department’s functionality and performance. If possible, set up a schedule of ongoing weekly or biweekly meetings with each staff member who you supervise directly so you can stay apprised of their progress with individual assignments while helping ensure that they’re using their time efficiently. Moreover, setting a regular meeting time when staff has the opportunity to ask you questions, you’ll likely see a decrease in intermittent questions that would otherwise interrupt the flow of your workday.

Minimize Your Staff’s Distractions

To strengthen efficiency in your small business, one of the most important things you can do is help your team stay focused on work. Staff needs to spend some time having positive interactions with each other to enjoy being at work and to create a team-driven environment. However, you may notice that some staff members consistently spend too much of their workday socializing with one another. The best way to address this isn’t reprimanding them. Instead, try to go about it with helpful reminders and gentle nudging. You don’t need to crack the whip whenever you see people taking a minute to socialize, but when you observe that ongoing social interaction is simply too long, you might consider intervening to ask a question or remind somebody about a deadline. With this approach, your staff won’t feel like they’re being micromanaged by a taskmaster. Instead, they’ll know that they have a plugged-in supervisor who wants to make sure the whole team performs well. If this strategy doesn’t seem to be making an appreciable impact with your most distracted staff members, have a calm and direct one-on-one conversation about distractions and what they can do to improve. Be clear about what the expectation is and let them know that you’re confident that they can do it in a way that’s both positive and supporting. Sometimes, being a cheerleader for your staff rather than just being an authority figure will make your employees strive to please you and can help them produce better work.

Give Your Staff Time-Saving Technology

You can promote efficiency in your small business by equipping your staff with technology to reduce the amount of time that they spend on administrative activities, directing projects, and managing relationships with customers. File shares and cloud-based storage systems can help streamline how your staff accesses information. Project management programs can help your folks collaborate while reducing the number of unnecessary intra-staff phone calls and meetings. Salesforce Chicago offers a platform for customer relationship management that will save staff time by keeping customer information organized in a single user-friendly database. Staff will be able to easily stay on top of leads while keeping on important dates and deadlines with current customers. Utilizing technology that will help employees save time and stay organized is an exceptional resource for employees who are often working off site or in transit.

Create Clear Policies

To maximize a small business’ workplace efficiency, it’s helpful to have written policies like an employee handbook, employee job descriptions, and procedural policies. This can reduce ambiguity and save employees unnecessary confusion. Also, it saves management from having to always resort to on-the-spot decision making instead of looking to clear and established policies. Providing your employees with written training materials and company policies will help them focus on their work tasks and enable them to perform their job duties in accordance with your company’s best practices and expectations.

When you give your small business’ staff the tools that they need to do their best possible work, your business will do better. Consider what you can do that fits with your business’ budget and your plans to grow in the future.

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