02 July 2009

Spotlight Article

Eight Tips for Improving Productivity (and Revenues)

There’s no doubt that market conditions are impacting businesses, but for many companies that’s not the full story. The downfall of some firms has hastened through long-standing business practices that can’t weather uncertainty. At the same time, other companies are coping, even thriving. 

As the market resettles, all businesses have an opportunity to assess what drives their productivity and how to improve it. These tips can help you fine-tune your operations and position your company for the coming market upswing.

 

1. Ensure that your employees and customers will recommend your company.

If your customers or your employees do not (or will not) recommend your company, find out why. Do you need to reassess your offerings, set new goals, or implement new or better processes? Perhaps it’s something simpler, like a customer appreciation or employee referral program? If you have any qualms about your company’s ability to provide top-notch service all the time, every time, remedy them immediately.

2. Establish clear roles and goals.

Have a conversation with each employee to ensure they understand their responsibilities—and how what they do relates to your company’s business strategy. Be clear that you are there help them to successfully meet their personal goals, as well as those of the company. When employees feel supported they are more engaged and productive.

3. Clearly communicate company goals.

Make sure everyone on your team knows the company vision. Clearly articulate your objectives and be open to suggestions from your team. You are more likely to reach your goals when everyone is on the same page.

4. Evaluate your current processes.

Take a close look at both your internal and external business processes. What’s working? What’s not? Why? Make the needed improvements and watch your productivity rise.

5.Get the right tools to do the job.

It's no secret that the quality of your equipment has a direct impact on productivity. Better, faster computers, networks, and software can help your employees get more done. A short-term investment in the right tools can yield substantial long-term benefits.

6. Set reasonable expectations.

Are employees expected to do too much or do they often have time on their hands? Assess both your expectations of employees, and the actual tasks they perform. Take steps to better balance the workload if necessary.

7. Appreciate your employees.

When employees know they are valued and that their work impacts the company as a whole, they are more loyal and productive. Make sure employees know they are essential. They are your most important asset.

8. Make the most of your talent pool.

It’s likely that all of your employees have skills that don’t directly apply to the particular set of tasks you hired them for. Your administrative assistant could be an excellent writer. Your marketing lead might also know HTML. Tap into these talents—you’ll increase employee interest, improve morale, and boost productivity.
 
Take time now to ensure time and resources are used wisely, and that your team is engaged in your company’s vision. You’ll likely see immediate benefits, and strengthen your company’s productivity—and revenue stream—in the long run.