A well-functioning team of staff is an essential aspect of any successful business. As a business owner, it is vital that you encourage your staff as much as possible and help them to be enthusiastic about the task at hand. While you should always view your workers as people in their own right from a business perspective, you should also view them as an investment. If you are not getting the most out of your employees, you are not getting a good return on your investment. Instead, the money that you spend on their wages is going to waste. To avoid this, you need to make sure that your staff are working to their full potential. Below are four ways for you to optimize the working hours of your employees.
Give them time off
It may seem counterintuitive to give your employees time off when you are trying to optimize their work hours. However, if you handle this correctly, you could find yourself with a happier and more effective work force. Many successful businesses cut their week short by giving their employees Friday afternoons off. This is done in an attempt to increase productivity. While the average worker may find it difficult to stay motivated at the end of the week, an employee who gets the afternoon off is more likely to make the most of their time in the office. A shorter week will also help to boost productivity in the middle of the week, as the weekend won’t feel so far away. If your company is not in a position where you can afford to give your workers a whole afternoon off, why not start with an hour? If you notice a rise in productivity, you may eventually want to progress to the full afternoon. However, it is important that you keep at least a few hours for your employees to come into the office. This will give them the opportunity to tie up any loose ends and to plan for the week ahead.
Schedule regular meetings
If you are wondering how to get the most out of your employees, you might want to start by asking their opinion. No one will be able to tell you better than them which jobs are a waste of their time. Schedule regular meetings in which you can catch up with your staff. Find out what tasks they deem unnecessary and work with them to find solutions. For instance, if they are wasting hours a day trying to use an out of date photocopier, you might want to invest in a new one. In the short term, this will be an expense; however, in the long term this will save you money and improve staff morale. By discussing productivity with your employees, you will make it clear that you are monitoring their progress. This will help you if you ever have to discipline one of your workers for a failure to manage their workload. If you have given them plenty of opportunities to find a solution, but they haven’t put the effort in, you will be well within your rights to make your disappointment known. However, if you have failed to engage with the way your organization runs, you may be unfairly reprimanding someone who is facing obstacles you know nothing about. Your staff will definitely appreciate you taking the time to gather all the information.
Monitor out of office activity
It is unlikely that you will be able to optimize the working hours of your employees if they are spending a large amount of time away from the premises of your business. Make sure that this out of office activity isn’t taking place unnecessarily. If a meeting could be held on site, but your employees are holding it elsewhere, it is important that you get to the bottom of why this is happening. If it is for the benefit of the client, that’s fine. However, if the meeting could just as easily take place on site, make sure that this change is made. You could also encourage your employees to set up Skype calls instead of taking time out of their day to travel to another location. It is also important that you make sure all of your employees are taking out of office breaks that are of an appropriate length. Appoint a senior member of staff to monitor the breaks or introduce a swipe system that will remove the potential for human error or bias. It may sound extreme, but you should also consider the time being wasted on tea breaks. You need to be careful not to upset your staff by being too strict. Instead of introducing restrictions, why not set up a rotating schedule for a member of staff to make the drinks? Then, at appointed times everyone can have a refreshment brought to their desk. This will help to avoid time being wasted by people chatting in the kitchen area or using their trip as an excuse to avoid work. Legally, it is important that this is a suggestion rather than a rule. However, if your employees take to it, this could be a fantastic way to encourage increased productivity amongst your work force.
Use technology to avoid unnecessary jobs
If technology can do a job for you in a fraction of the time it would take a human, why would you not make the most of this opportunity? Don’t waste the potential of your workers by forcing them to do jobs that technology could take care of. Not only will this cause them to become frustrated with their work, but it will also cost your business a huge amount of money. For instance, if your business relies on apps that aren’t connected to one another, some of your staff may be spending a great deal of time transferring information from one application to another. This reliance on manual inputting is entirely unnecessary! Instead, your business could use NetSuite integrations for Salesforce crm, to integrate your applications. This would allow them to automatically communicate with each other in order to streamline the running of your business. For instance, if NetSuite registers that your business has run out of a specific product, Salesforce will instantly be aware of this fact and will prevent your customers from ordering the unavailable item. A human employee would have had to input this data manually which would have taken much longer and could have led to mistakes. Instead, this is all done automatically, and your staff member can be given much more challenging activities to complete.