When you run your own business, your fate, your reputation and your livelihood suddenly become inextricably tied to your business. You no longer have the luxuries you had as a paid employee like sick pay, lunch breaks or the knowledge that your colleague will pick up the slack for you if you’re having a bad day. You bring your A game to work come rain or shine, and don’t leave the building unless you feel that you can put your name to the day and look back on it with pride. Unfortunately, however, while your employees may demonstrate this work ethic when they join you, they may not retain it. Let’s be honest, they have far less personal investment in your enterprise than you do. It’s not that they’re negligent, lazy or indolent, it’s just that for you your business is your life. For them, it’s work.
Wasted time at work may not be particularly ill intentioned but it still costs businesses $billions in wasted revenue. You know full well that one of the biggest ways to increase your profits, thereby ensuring that your employees have jobs to come to tomorrow, lies in cutting business costs where you can and eliminating wasteful spending wherever it should present itself. Thus, it’s really not viable that you should have to pay good money for your employees to play Candy Crush in the bathroom. Here we’ll look at some effective ways to eliminate time wasting, boost productivity and engagement and develop a happier, more energized and better motivated workforce…
Master the art of scheduling
When you become adept at the fine art of scheduling, you not only help to enhance employee engagement, you help to reduce business spending costs too. Using a scheduling solution like the kind found on GetSling can help you to reduce wasting of time and resources in a number of ways. You can schedule shifts and breaks strategically to ensure that you don’t pair two colleagues who, despite their best intentions, simply bring out the worst in eachother. After all 17% of employees claim that inefficient colleagues are a barrier to productivity. You can even stagger lunch breaks to ensure that employees get back to their workstations on time. Moreover, employees are more empowered as they can make shift requests and schedule overtime. This helps you to manage payroll effectively to ensure that not only is no time wasted, your personnel costs are perfectly and efficiently managed.
Incentivize hard work and dedication
In a 2012 / 2013 survey by Salary.com 34% of employees stated that they did not use their time as efficiently as possible because they were offered no incentive to perform to the best of their ability or to try and beat their personal best. While it’s all too tempting to blame the work ethic of the employee this is clearly a leadership issue. Your incentives structure should be centred around motivating employees to outperform themselves (or, depending on how you want to run your business, each other). This means that performance related pay, bonuses and other rewards schemes should be used to incentivize hard work and reduce the desire for employees to spend their time at work unproductively.
Be clear and consistent in your expectations
Do your employees have a clear idea of what’s expected of them? Do they have a checklist of standards which they’re expected to maintain? Is there an explicitly defined and published set of expectations to which they’ve signed their name which can be used to hold employees to account? If not, you have only yourself to blame for poor time efficiency. Your employees need to have a sense of ownership and accountability if they’re to perform at their best.
Not only must your expectations be clearly communicated, they need to have a clear and quantifiable means by which they and you can measure their progress (or lack thereof). If your employees feel that your expectations of them are unreasonable, or outside the realm of their capability, you should work collaboratively with them to help them set goals and targets to reach the standards that you have for your business.
Outsource where you can
Many nascent entrepreneurs outsource a goodly portion of their operations because they don’t have the cash flow or resources to manage their own team of employees. Yet, even if your enterprise has grown to the point where you can comfortably afford to take on new employees, you should still consider outsourcing to freelancers here and there. Unlike salaried employees, freelancers rely on their productivity and time management to earn a crust, and thus can be a more time and cost effective solution than employing a new member of staff.
Take the right steps to clamp down on time wasting and not only will your labor costs plummet, your productivity will likely soar!