There’s a certain excitement in running a small business, isn’t there? Sure, it’s hectic, but this venture is yours. The same goes for your employees, especially those who are in on the ground level. Yet, even with the excitement of a small business, there’s going to be a time when work gets monotonous. Ring up the coffee, hand the coffee to the customer, repeat. Make the sales call, fill out the invoice, repeat.
While monotony is hard to avoid in any workplace, there are ways you can break out of the cycle. You can help keep your employees motivated and happy, which means they are more productive. In fact, happy employees are 10 to 20 percent more productive than those who are unhappy.
So how can you break the monotony in your small business? We’re glad you asked!
Here are 5 ways to increase staff productivity:
Consider Team-Building Activities
Yes, this could mean finding a local ropes course or something similar. And that could be a great way to go, especially if your employees are the outdoorsy type. But, it doesn’t always mean venturing into the great outdoors. There are a wealth of team-building activities you can do in the office. These activities not only break the monotony of the work routine, but also help enhance communication, strengthen leadership traits and more.
For a less on-the-nose option, you can treat your employees to fun activities with no overt lessons in play. For instance, you may want to take your team go-karting, or to enjoy a game at the ballpark or gridiron. These can still be considered team-building activities, even though you aren’t incorporating obvious lessons into the mix.
Look for the Motivation Killers
What’s causing the lack of motivation in your office? What’s the source of monotony? As best you can, eliminate these issues. Maybe cubicles are the best office set-up. Or, perhaps there’s a way to change up responsibilities, such as allowing the normal cashier to instead be the one to ready the food. Of course, highly specialized jobs, like being a chef, can’t be taken on by just anyone. However, if there are changes you can logically make, do it.
Sometimes, it’s not the office itself that kills motivation, but rather the personnel. Though you do all you can to weed out the bad employees, some may not show their true colors until they’re on board. If a certain employee is causing friction or strife in the office, or otherwise bringing others down, it may be time to have a serious talk with them — even if that talk ends in firing them.
Set Goals and Rewards
With any job, working just for a paycheck is a quick way to kill motivation. If your employees don’t have a set goal, they have little to no direction. There are many ways you can set goals, and they don’t have to be extravagant. Many businesses choose to use sales goals, and they work well. You could also set a goal of having a certain level of customer satisfaction, or something similar.
Where many businesses go wrong is to pair these goals with negative consequences. Employees shouldn’t be outright punished if they are obviously working toward the goal, but come short of it. Rather, employees and teams should be rewarded for their efforts and reaching their goals. These rewards could range from days off to promotions. Whatever the reward, make it known upfront. That way, your staff actually knows what they’re working toward.
Incorporate Training and Set Standards
Similar to setting goals, you can help your employees learn new skills so they are more versatile in your business. Plus, it’s always exciting to learn something new! If you used specialized equipment, it may be good to have multiple employees trained in using it. More abstractly, you may want to choose a few of your best employees and train them in management. Whatever kind of training you offer, make sure it’s personalized to specific staff members to show you appreciate them.
Along with training, however, comes standards. Your employees should know what you expect from them. While this can add to monotony of filling the same job responsibilities day in and day out, they help your staff members reach their goals. Plus, they have a greater understanding of how to balance their daily routine and tasks with the new training you’re providing.
Know How Your Employees Are Using Technology
Modern technology is one of the most useful tools for businesses and individuals in general. But, it can also be a major distraction. While social media can help your employees break the monotony of their day, it can also suck them in and keep them from doing their job well. Make sure their social media use is restricted to breaks.
Of course, it’s not just social media that can be distracting. Technology means it’s easier for your team to get work done and communicate more efficiently, but if your software is too confusing, learning how to use, it can drag your team down. Be sure to not add another level of confusion and monotony by using the right digital tools for your team that are easy to use.
Company.com Can Boost Your Productivity and Communication
At Company.com, we offer a variety of different services that can help boost your small business’s productivity. Our team collaboration tool provides an easy way to tear down silos and make sure everyone on your team stays engaged. In addition, we can help you optimize your hiring process so you aren’t bringing on new team members who can drag down your business. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you, or to start a free trial of our premium software suite.