Efficient companies maximise their returns for less input, meaning they reduce their running costs and improve their bottom line. Smart managers should continuously seek ways to improve efficiency and performance in their business. Fortunately, there are likely to be dozens of ways to make your operations more efficient, and small changes can have a big impact. Here are some of the top ways to make your Birmingham business more efficient:
Treat your employees well
How you treat your employees will have a direct effect on business efficiency. Satisfied employees will typically perform better in the workplace when compared to employees who are unhappy or lack support. A recent study by Oxford University found that employees are 13 percent more productive when they are happy. If you’re trying to increase efficiency, you should start by looking at your employees. Ask your team for feedback and take this on board to create a more positive work culture. Treat your employees well, and you should start to see higher productivity and performance in your company. Here are some easy ways to treat your employees well:
- Recognise your top employees with rewards such as shopping vouchers or free meals.
- Create welcoming staff break areas and encourage regular work breaks.
- Help employees bond with each other and build relationships.
- Allow flexible working hours and work from home days.
- Encourage open communication in the workplace.
- Provide nutritious office snacks like fruit and nuts.
- Invest in staff training and development.
- Organise monthly staff lunches.
- Celebrate employees’ birthdays.
Train and develop your team
Sir Richard Branson famously said that companies should: “Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough, so they don’t have to.” Your employees are your companies most valuable asset, so you should invest in their training and development. Upskilling your staff is one of the most effective ways to improve business efficiency and performance. Well-trained employees are also more likely to feel valued in your company. This means that there is less risk of them leaving or looking for new job opportunities elsewhere. Retaining staff is fundamental to maintaining high efficiency, as hiring new employees requires a lot of resources. For that reason, managers should focus on developing their existing team members and maintaining high employee retention.
Install a smart parcel box
Most businesses receive multiple deliveries daily. Manually collecting parcels from delivery personnel can harm productivity as it means that employees are distracted from their work tasks. Installing a smart parcel box from iLoveParcels makes parcel management much more efficient and means that your packages can be stored safely and securely on-site. You no longer have to worry about your parcels being given to a neighbour or being left in a “safe” location. Having a smart parcel box also removes the inconvenience of having to arrange collection of a missed delivery or having to return a parcel via a time-consuming returns method, e.g., a trip to the post office.
Limit daily interruptions
Activities like meetings and catchups are an essential part of running an efficient team. Nevertheless, these activities can harm productivity if they are poorly planned. To minimise the impact on productivity, try to plan meetings all on the same day rather than spreading them throughout the week. This means that your staff can focus on their tasks without interruptions to their workflow. You should also try to organise daily catchups for first thing in the morning before your employees start working. Avoid unscheduled meetings or asking employees if they “have a minute” for a catchup session during the day. Emails can also cause distractions and interrupt employees during the day. You can use an app like Inbox Pause to avoid incoming messages from distracting your team’s workflow. Limiting interruptions will enable your staff to focus better and perform more efficiently as a result.
Embrace business technology
Business technology has revolutionised how companies perform. Every modern company should leverage technology to increase efficiency and boost profits. At a minimum, you should consider what tools and technology your employees need to do their work tasks efficiently. For instance, most companies require project management software and accounting systems. Failing to provide your team with essential software will harm productivity and make it difficult for them to maintain an efficient workflow. Then, consider what technology could be used to further streamline your operations and processes. Automation software can massively improve efficiency by automating mundane tasks like administration or responding to customer messages. According to smallbusiness.co.uk, companies can also increase efficiency and reduce costs by installing accountancy software, upgrading to smart meters, and using Cloud computing. Every business owner should embrace new technology and leverage software to streamline their processes and create a more efficient work environment.
Learn to delegate tasks
Many managers want to oversee every part of their business and find the idea of delegating unsettling. Handing over responsibility can be a challenge, but effective managers must learn how to delegate tasks effectively. Checking every minor detail yourself is a huge waste of valuable time and will make it difficult to run an efficient business. When it comes to delegating, the best approach is to assign tasks to qualified employees and then trust that they will complete them well. Make sure that you delegate tasks based on your employee’s skills and work styles. For example, a sociable and creative team member may be great at delivering presentations to clients, but they may find a detail-orientated work task more difficult. Delegating increases business efficiency and allows your employees to develop valuable leadership skills and responsibilities.
If you are struggling to delegate effectively, then take a look at this guide on how managers can improve their delegation skills.
Increasing efficiency is a common objective for businesses. Making your operations more efficient will maximise your returns and increase your bottom line. There are several simple ways for companies to improve efficiency and boost performance. Try introducing some of the above strategies to make your Birmingham business more efficient and profitable this year.