If you’re anything like us, you’ll always be looking for ways you can do business better. Learning from your current practices and identifying what you can do to improve them is key for any business no matter what the sector.
There are three main areas every business must focus on in order to achieve sustained growth. These are finance, operations and commercial. Improving, fine-tuning and developing these three areas are what the most successful businesses do.
However, any change doesn’t have to be wholesale and it’s often the small, incremental changes that add up to big differences.
Here are five ways you can implement changes to have a more productive and efficient business.
1. Motivate your employees
People are the most important resource of any business; they are its life and soul. Investing in your people and helping them to enjoy work will see higher levels of motivation and engagement which in turn leads to better productivity. Create a ‘Dream Team’ that employees feel privileged to be part of. When it’s the small margins that matter, having employees that are prepared to constantly go the extra mile will set you apart from the competition.
2. Use better technology
Innovations in technology are helping businesses across different industries improve what they do. From providing tailored experiences for customers to reducing the time spent on core business functions, embracing changes in technology will make your business better. For example, companies using a workforce management solution to schedule staff, absence management, budgeting and forecasting are seeing an uplift in productivity, significant savings in time and a reduction in costs that go straight to the bottom-line.
3. Manage more effectively
People management is one of the hardest things to get right. The key is to be open, accessible and clear in your communication. Listen to your staff and you will reap the rewards of a happier workforce. Being closest to the action, your employees will have valuable ideas on how to improve processes and create a better end product or service. Ultimately, interaction with your staff should be about creating a connection that enables them to trust you. Demonstrate an interest in them and you will develop a happy and motivated team who feel involved, and have important ideas for the future of the business.
4. Have a clear ‘road map’
There are two road maps you need; one for your business and one for your staff. You and your staff need to know where the business is headed and how you’re going to get there. Getting employee ‘buy in’ to a strategic plan helps create an open and transparent culture where employees feel they are valued and respected. It’s also important that each individual has their own road map so they know how they can develop within the company and how their personal growth is linked to the company growth.
5. Don’t be afraid of trying something new
Sometimes change is about trying something different and doing something you haven’t tried before. Have the courage to try something new and you may be surprised by the impact that it can have. For example, figures from TechNavio Global Research 2014 show that companies who are using a workforce management solution are freeing up 7-12 hours of managers’ time each week and creating a 20% increase in client facing time. It’s also creating a 6% reduction in payroll errors and a 5% increase in productivity.
All these small increments soon add up to big differences. Find the areas where you can make marginal gains, put the process in place to make them happen and then work towards the result you want to see.