Project Management Solutions for Better Business Efficiency
Are you a small business owner or a manager of a team of employees? Whichever category you fall into, you must at some point been faced with the challenge of managing employees to promote a more efficient and productive working environment. Seeing as running a business is a capital intensive venture with recurrent and unavoidable expenditure such as rent, power bills, repairs and maintenance, procurement and staff costs, if you do not have practices in place to enhance efficiency and productivity, you just might end up running at a loss.
Some employers and managers resort to sharp practices to promote efficiency only to have run-ins with labour unions and an unhappy, inefficient workforce. To avoid all this, read on for seven practices to ensure your business runs efficiently.
People can only be efficient when they know what they are doing and what is expected of them in the first place. Training is the way to provide learning opportunities for staff to gain new knowledge, hone their skills and discover new methods of doing things. Some companies shy away from training due to cost concerns, preferring to use the trial and error learning method with staff. Online training, webinars, and conferences are cost-effective options worth considering.
2. Connect With the Team
Running your team as an overseer managing workers on a plantation is not a management style that fosters team spirit. You are more likely to create an ‘us against them’ dynamic. Connecting with your staff, getting them to understand and share the organisation’s vision would make them more enthusiastic about their jobs. When your staff are emotionally engaged with your organisation, they put forth their best and even bring forward fresh ideas to take the organisation in the desired direction. Do not rely too much on emails and motivational quotes, get the engagement done in person. Plan team building sporting events or social gatherings to engage your staff in a relaxed atmosphere.
3. Reward the Team
As your staff don’t own the company, their zeal and commitment might not be as much as yours and may require some form of a reward system built around recognition for their support and hard work. Some managers concerned with keeping their overhead down offer ‘promotions’ without pay: a new title with increased responsibility but no additional pay or perks. More times than not, the results of this are counterproductive as you end up with staff disgruntled and disillusioned with the company. Inefficiency becomes the order of the day as your employees no longer care. Incentives need not always be monetary. A special meal with the Chief Executive Officer, additional leave days, free social/sports club memberships or public recognition are ways to encourage and reward hard-working employees.
4. Work Smart
A number of companies have time-consuming processes and routines that are not particularly relevant to the job and take up time that could have been widely used to complete tasks. Forty-minute meeting sessions every morning are a part of some companies’ routine. Other organisations are more focused on time spent at work than on actual work that got done. Are you that manager who gets all riled up seeing staff leaving at 5pm despite that being the official closing hour? Do you measure commitment by the length of time spent beyond stipulated closing times on a regular? Keep your eyes on the prize, focusing on productivity and results rather than time spent.
5. Consider Remote Work
Do you have an employee who is very smart, hardworking and committed to always getting the job done? Is this staff also a single parent with frequent time off work to address domestic matters? Or is the staff an only child with aged parents requiring frequent visits? You could lay off the employee and take your chances retraining a new hand or you could tap into the world of remote work. Consider offering the opportunity for such persons to work from home checking into the office for face to face meetings at agreed times. Oftentimes a lot of jobs do not require actually sitting in an office to get it done. With the use of a project management application such as Podio you can manage big data effectively with your team remotely. This means more efficiency and a happier working environment.
6. Keep your focus
Multitasking is a ‘thing’ in the business world with many employees taking pride in their supposed ability to do a thousand and one things all at the same time. The reality of it though is that a bunch of projects get picked at with the important stuff hardly getting done. Focus on priorities and do not bog down your employees with work that really can wait. Be clear on your expectations and the timeframe in which the task needs to be accomplished. Attempting to multitask is similar to a juggler trying to juggle ten balls all at once. Chances are high he can hang onto all balls if they are thrown in one at a time. Ten balls all at once will likely end with all of them on the ground and the juggler disoriented.
7. Communicate Clearly
Cases of messages getting lost in translation happens a lot more frequently than one would think. Send email messages directly to the person concerned rather than through a third party. Encourage open communication by not fostering a culture of fear where employees fear reprisals through appraisals. Employees in a healthy work environment feel free to share concerns, feedback on public perception of the organisation and ways things can be better done when open communication is encouraged. When the feedback is negative, endeavor not to react emotionally, lashing out at employees or threatening them with summary dismissal. Staff and humans, in general, tend to work more efficiently in a system where they feel heard rather than in an atmosphere of fear.
Manage Your Business Efficiently With the Podio Project Management Software
Future Solutions is an Authorised Podio Partner. By developing a project management solution, your organisation can manage big data and complex processes effectively and efficiently. We can help design and build your Podio platform from scratch, optimize your existing setup, and integrate your systems through custom API work amongst many other things.