In order to run a successful business, you need to be willing to continually review and develop everything that you do. Being too precious about the things that you do and the way that you do them can leave your business in an unproductive cycle. This will ultimately cause a reduction in your profits.
You will, of course, have heard the phrase ‘time is money’ countless times. It means finding quicker ways of achieving your result. The faster you are able to work, the more you will be able to do.
But taking shortcuts can lead to a reduction in the quality that you are offering. This will very likely have a negative impact on your business.
So, the trick is always going to be to improve the productivity of your business without harming the quality of your work or produce.
Here are some ways of improving productivity in your business.
Make Use Of Emerging Technology Such As Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is finally among us, and it is quickly learning how it can help us in our lives. From the virtual assistants on our smartphones and on our smart speakers that provide us with weather updates, make shopping lists, play our favourite songs, or read us back web searches, through to the sophisticated technology that is behind driverless cars, artificial intelligence is a game-changer.
There are countless uses for artificial intelligence within any business. From product design and development, fraud prevention, forecasting, right through to customer services, artificial intelligence can revolutionize the workplace.
The advantages of artificial intelligence are that it can carry out complex tasks that humans would struggle with. It can provide authentic answers to lots of questions from people. Artificial intelligence can be easily implemented to carry out the work that several humans would have done.
One of the most prevalent uses of artificial intelligence in business is the use of chatbots. Having automated chatbots available to respond to customer queries can reduce the demands on your customer service department. Although chatbots may not be able to help with every customer query, they can be useful in dealing with your most frequently asked questions.
If a customer has a general query such as how to find you, or what time you are open, these can instantly be answered and the customer is not left hanging on. Where a matter is more complex, the chatbot will take the matter as far as it can before handing the customer over to a human advisor. This speeds things up for the customer service advisor, as the bot will have already done much of the groundwork in finding out the customers details and problems.
Improve Your Delegation Practices
Delegation is key in any business. But so often, this valuable function is neglected. Many managers will use the line “if you want a job doing well, do it yourself”. This is counterproductive because it means that you are doing a job that can easily be done by someone else. And, while you are doing that, you are not doing the tasks that you should be doing.
One of the best ways to empower your team is to show them that you trust them to do something. By giving them responsibility for certain aspects of the business, you are allowing them to take full ownership of their job role.
Of course, there is an element of risk involved in effective delegation. But, if you are not willing to occasionally risk things to increase productivity, then your business will not improve.
One of the best ways to motivate your team is to remind them how good they are at their job. Positive reinforcement means finding something good to say to all of your staff. Praising each and every team member for something that they have done will show them that you value them. A valued team member will demonstrate greater confidence and will be able to carry out work in a more productive manner.
Even when you need to provide constructive feedback to help a member of your team to improve, this should be framed alongside positive reinforcement. If you need that employee to develop in a certain area, give them the developmental feedback that they require, but tell them what they are good at and how they can apply that skill in improving in this other area.
Set Realistic And Achievable Goals
Targets give you something to aim for. Every aspect of your business should have achievable goals assigned. There should be an overarching longterm goal which may look several years into the future. You should have a medium team business goal which is relevant to the current tax year. From this, you should break your larger goals down into smaller, short term goals. These may be financial, or they may be operational targets. But if you set a measurable position of where you want to be, it will be easier to see how far away you are from achieving these targets and as a result, work out what you can do to get there.
These goals should be broken down for individuals too. If everyone in your business is working towards personal goals, then everyone will become more productive.
Work on Workplace Morale
The happier your team are, the more they will look forward to coming into work. Investing time and effort into making sure your team are happy is important. That means taking the time to talk with your employees to find out about any issues that may be causing them to feel unhappy or demotivated in the workplace.
Organized social activities and team-building exercises can be helpful in improving morale. By allowing your team the opportunity to have fun and engage with each other more, you will be building up happy and productive work relationships.