Whatever your business, productivity is the key to success. If things aren’t getting done, then not only are you not making money, but you’re also probably actively losing money. You’re paying for rent, utilities, and above all wages, so if you’re not getting the levels of productivity you expect, then all that money is quite literally being poured down the drain. That’s why you need to be on top of any reasons why productivity could be down and what you can do to nip the problem in the bud.
Watch your finances
Obviously, you need to invest in order to make money. However, there are times when overspending can actually damage productivity. Investing in a fancy new computer system is all very well, but if it’s not necessary for the job at hand, or if not enough people are trained up to use it, then it’s a waste of resources. Time wasted on unnecessary tasks or training and the inevitable mistakes and glitches can all eat into productivity if there’s no definite justification for the upgrade.
Similarly, keep an eye on your expenses account. Unnecessary claims can leave you short of funds for the things that really matter, such as essential supplies or even employees’ wages. There’s nothing like an unpaid workforce for lowering productivity.
Take care of your staff
Managerial incompetence can be one reason for low staff morale, but it’s not the only one. Sometimes your employees can’t help but bring their personal problems to work with them. Perhaps their marriage is in difficulty or some other relationship has turned sour. They may have health problems, be under psychological stress, or have drug or alcohol issues. All of these personal problems can affect productivity as an unhappy or distracted employee is more likely to make mistakes or focus their time and attention on other matters. They are also more likely to call in sick or take unauthorized leave.
Do your best to make sure they are happy at work: encourage one-to-one review sessions and encourage them to talk about any problems they are having. Perhaps even offer relationship or drug counselling. If you suspect an employee has substance abuse problems that they aren’t willing to disclose, then drug testing could be the answer. An oral fluid lab test is discreet and non-invasive and is an increasingly common business practice.
With power comes responsibility
The company heads also need to behave in a responsible fashion. Risky behavior, rash decisions, and bad practice by those in charge can damage productivity far more than the problems of one employee lower down in the chain. At worst, an ill-informed executive decision could put jobs at risk or could alienate employees. People tend to work better if they feel their jobs are secure, if they aren’t worrying about where their next paycheck is coming from, and also if they feel as if they have a stake in the company’s future.
A happy office is a productive office. Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of you. Spend wisely, not rashly, and make every cent count. Ultimately, everyone should feel that they’re playing on the same team.