How small businesses can increase productivity

If you’re a small business, any dead weight will be more apparent than if you ran a larger company. Before you decide to scream “You’re fired!” to your underperforming employees, try these tips for boosting their productivity and your profit.

Give them more flexibility

This can come in many forms and may appear as more of a risk than a solution. If you let employees off the leash a bit — allow them to work from home once a week or give everyone smartphones so they can conduct business away from their desks —, you may just see more targets being met and better ideas blooming in their brains. We dare you to try it.

And on that smartphone note…

Make sure your employees have the right technology to do their jobs most efficiently so obstacles like slow internet and inaccessibility to Outlook don’t bog them down. We know your technology budget is probably small, but aiming to improve just one slow or outdated element in the business can help your bottom line. Also make sure business software is up to date and that you have the right collaborative tools to get the job done well.

Plan better

Cyril Peupion, author of "Work Smarter: Live Better" and co-founder of Primary Asset Consulting, says in Smarter Business Ideas magazine that bosses should think quarterly and plan weekly. Peupion advises focusing on a few three-month goals that would greatly influence business in the long-run. Then, every week, work towards and prioritise those aims in some capacity.

Delegate more

You don’t want to be the bad boss who gives his team more work all the time, but sometimes passing off a task that is keeping you from doing more important things is better for overall output. You can make delegating easier on yourself by assigning work based on employee talents instead of just giving it to the first person who passes your desk. The worker will feel you’ve recognised his or her strengths and you’ll have one less item on your to-do list.

Check yourself

You’re grumbling about your workers slacking off, but how much are you really accomplishing each day? Lead by example. Prioritise tasks and tackle challenges around the office as you’d like employees to approach these areas. Have a can-do attitude and be positive to encourage the best output each day.

For more tips on better managing your employees, visit the BetterBusiness section of the Commonwealth Bank web site.

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