It’s no secret that improving employee productivity is crucial to a small business’ success, in fact for all businesses. But for small businesses, it can often be challenging to make the right changes to improve efficiencies and increase profits. So how do you balance productivity with cost-effectiveness and maximize results?
Small businesses have several options for getting more done faster and cheaper. But suppose you want to see real, measurable improvements in your day-to-day operations. In that case, you may need to assess where your company could use additional support — especially when it comes to tracking employee performance. That’s where employee time trackers come into the picture.
How to Improve Employees’ Productivity
One of the most effective ways to improve employee productivity is to hire people with the right skills for the job rather than relying solely on resumes. Hiring experienced and knowledgeable employees can help ensure tasks are completed quickly and efficiently.
Providing employees with the right technology and education by attending relevant seminars or taking a course can also help to increase productivity. Technology such as time trackers can track employee activities, allowing them to monitor their productivity and adjust accordingly.
Below are the five effective ways small businesses can use time trackers to improve their productivity — while helping employees become more efficient.
Implement an Online Time Clock App for Accurate Time Tracking
Implementing an online free clock-in clock-out appis essential when improving a small business’s productivity. These apps help track attendance, timesheets, and labor costs and export payroll data while enabling many other features through which a custom report can also be created.
For instance, the GPS tracking feature can record employee location when they clock in and out of their work day. This can be extremely helpful for businesses that need a better handle on where their employees are at any given moment.
Time clock apps can also help businesses manage employee scheduling and time tracking. It can also help in task management and payroll with ease. Accurate employee time tracking allows business owners to build schedules around employee availability. They can assign tasks based on individual strengths. Furthermore, these apps can calculate worked hours and prepare detailed reports for accurate payroll processing at the end of the month.
Online time clock apps are a definite must for any small business looking to improve productivity and save time in the long run.
Set Clear Goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Employees
Goals and KPIs provide measurable targets to track progress and efficiency. When it comes to performance-based metrics, KPIs are the standard. KPIs are quantifiable metrics used to measure progress toward a goal.
They should be aligned with the business strategy, attainable, acute (easily measured and monitored), accurate (consistent), actionable (immediate or short-term), and alive (reviewed regularly).
Examples of KPIs include Voluntary Attrition, Employee Net Promoter Score (NPS), and Quarterly Sales Goals. Establishing these metrics throughout every level of the organization motivates employees.
It also creates accountability for everyone on the team. NPS measures employee satisfaction by rating their performance on a scale from 1 to 10. While Quarterly Sales Goals help check whether groups meet their desired target sales. Setting clear goals for employees to reach helps managers determine how productive their staff is.
Provide Adequate Training and Learning Opportunities
Providing adequate training and learning opportunities for employees will lead to improved productivity and higher staff retention. Training is a crucial factor for small businesses to stimulate proactive thinking. This can include onboarding, company culture training, leadership development, and even industry-specific skills.
The idea of providing training and learning opportunities is two-fold. It helps to build employee skill sets allowing them to stay current with new technology and systems. At the same time, it also gives them a chance to show initiative in the workplace. Both are important for improving staff morale.
Building a learning culture in small businesses has benefits. It can include better employee engagement and an understanding that their work matters within the business. This gives employees an environment where they can thrive. They can experiment with creative ideas and collaborate with different departments or colleagues. This leads to greater productivity.
Conduct Regular Performance Reviews and Feedback
Regular performance reviews and feedback can play a fundamental role in improving employee productivity for small businesses. Most companies have abandoned traditional performance reviews. However, many argue that feedback given during regular assessments can enhance employee performance.
Performance reviews help maintain a healthy and positive company culture. It also allows employers to identify areas where employees need improvement. It can help in training them to manage their workloads better. Moreover, it helps employees feel supported. Knowing that their employers are invested in their success. And that they are available to offer constructive feedback when needed.
Some tips for conducting effective performance reviews include:
Be clear on the goals you set for each review.
Allow employees time to share their thoughts on past accomplishments and present challenges.
Always finish by providing constructive criticism and areas for improvement.
Ensure a two-way dialog with both parties listening to exchange views.
Motivate Employees through Recognition and Rewards
One way to motivate employees to become more productive is by recognizing and rewarding them. A simple thank you, or a few words of encouragement can make employees feel appreciated. It can act as an incentive for them to continue working hard.
Moreover, rewards can reinforce good behavior and motivate employees to continue their best efforts. It can be bonuses, time off, gift cards, or recognition awards. The rewards don’t have to be extravagant. Something as small as a gift card or words of appreciation can go a long way in recognizing hard work. Rewards help boost morale and encourage employees to strive for higher productivity levels.
All people want to feel that their contributions are appreciated and rewarded. Businesses foster an environment conducive to higher performance levels by recognizing individual accomplishments. Recognizing employees‘ achievements boosts morale and motivation. This encourages them to continue striving for excellence.
Challenges of Small Startup Companies when Having Remote Workers
Small startups tackling the remote working model for the first time might face a few challenges.
Communication is a Key Challenge
Communication is a crucialchallenge for startup businesses. Especially when it comes to remote work arrangements. With tech-based solutions, it’s easy to keep everyone in the loop for communications. But to do so, you need to ensure that everyone uses the same tools. This requires trial and error and training.
When it comes to remote employees, there are more considerations you’ll need to take into account. Like job descriptions and communication style preferences. You’ll also need to consider handling work interaction without having an office space. Consider a place where workers can physically meet up and collaborate.
Remote Work Can Lead to Overworking, Isolation and Communication Breakdown
Remote work can lead to overworking. This is due to a lack of boundaries. Isolation also happens due to a lack of physical interaction with colleagues. Breakdowns in communication can occur when stakeholders need to learn how or when they can access your remote team. To avoid these issues, clear expectations must be set from the start. Regular check-ins are carried out with remote workers and on-site team members.
Implementing a few of the practices outlined in this article can improve employee productivity for your small business. Introducing a time clock app or setting boundaries for work hours can create a more efficient work environment. It can also promote productivity among employees.
Ultimately, it’s worth the effort to optimize the workplace to improve the success and productivity of the business.
Q1. What is employee productivity for small business?
Ans. Employee productivity for small business is the efficiency of workers in achieving business goals and completing tasks effectively.
Q2. How to improve employee productivity for small businesses?
Ans. To improve employee productivity for small businesses, focus on clear goals, training, engagement, work-life balance, efficient communication, proper tools, recognition, time management, streamlined processes, and teamwork.
Q3. Why focus on improving employee productivity for small businesses?
Ans. Focusing on improving employee productivity for small businesses boosts efficiency, competitiveness, and profitability, leading to better customer satisfaction and business growth.
Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2023.