Owning a business is tough. It’s full of excitement, reward and risk, payoff, and, ultimately, success, but in the middle of all that, there’s tough parts you need to slog out. This year, for example, has been unendingly tough for certain businesses, especially those in the hospitality and travel sector due to the blight of COVID-19. Some have gone bankrupt and made countless members of staff redundant. Others have managed to hold on by the skin of their teeth by utilising government grants or making redundancies. Those who are still in business, especially those who are anticipating further tough times up ahead, especially as many financial experts warn of a global recession brought about by COVID, will need to really make the best of what they’ve got. This means getting the best out of your employees. There are lots of different ways to do this. It’s always important to remember that each business is different, and the things they can do to make things better for their workforce differs entirely. You need to properly look inwards aad analyse your own business before deciding to blindly follow the advice you read, otherwise you could actually end up doing some damage. Don’t change what works either. If your business is running well, you may not need to do anything to get the best out of your employees and you might have to look at your own expectations. That being said, here are some top tips to get you started.
Keep It Safe
One of the fundamental aspects about running a business is that your business location is safe to work in. This applies to customers and employees. Some places are easier to keep safe than others. A shop is going to be less dangerous than an iron smelting mill, for example. But that doesn’t mean issues won’t crop up. If you want people to work hard and for productivity to soar you need to ensure that you give them the right environment to thrive in. If you’re working somewhere where you’re worried about slippage, consider Amstep Products. If you’re working in a kitchen, make sure there are appropriate warnings for hot surfaces and areas. The same if you work with heavy machinery. It’s important to ensure everyone is trained on how to use machines properly and that this training is repeated. It’s also important to ensure these machines are cleaned and kept from malfunctioning. If you’re worried about not being able to spot anything like this, ask the people who work for you if they have any concerns. Another issue in offices is overpower in plug sockets. With computers, servers, printers, etc. all plugged in at the same time it’s quite easy for a shortage which can lead to an electrical fire. Be careful, and if you’re ever in doubt speak to an expert. When people are happy in what they’re doing, they’ll work far better.
Let Staff Work From Home
The majority of businesses who managed to negotiate the COVID situation are those where employees can work from home. Especially those who were already working from home. It’s the future, and any business who is trying to stop it is far behind with the times and will easily end up damaging themselves. True, some businesses cannot have staff who work from home, such as factory workers. But if you work from an office it can easily be done with laptops, cloud computing, etc. Those who allow this benefit hugely when situations like COVID happens. What about when an employee is feeling a little under the weather but fine enough to work from home? Or when there is a huge amount of snow meaning people can’t commute? It makes people happier being able to work from home which in turn means they might be, and probably will be, more productive. You can let people do this full time and save an absolute packet on unnecessary office space or let them do it a few days a week. Showing that flexibility will attract a lot more talent to your workplace, as well as simply upping the flexibility. Just make sure staff have the tools they need to succeed and you’ll be well on your way.
A lot of businesses use bonuses as a way of incentivising performance. They’re a great way to get the best out of your employees. They can also be quite dangerous. If you think your employees need a bit of a boost, or need a reason to really work hard and push on, then consider targets which lead to bonuses. The issue here is that you need to set targets that can be achieved, not ones that are impossible, yet you also need to set ones that aren’t too easy to achieve. If they’re too hard, people won’t bother trying and it’ll just make them angry. Too easy, and you’ll be paying out hand over fist for bonuses. They need to be realistic and they’re well worth you considering and thinking on for a while. If you’re worried about money, you don’t have to give them money as an incentive. You could give them early finishes so that they get to leave early or entire days off. If all the targets are hit, this won’t be that much of a problem.
Slow internet is the absolute killer of productivity. Not only does it slow productivity, but it’s also completely rage-inducing too. If you need the internet to do your work, which a lot of businesses do, then make sure it’s one which is of a decent speed. If it’s slow, people won’t be able to do their jobs properly. And if they can’t do their jobs, they aren’t productive. Speak to them about it. Ask them if it’s fast enough and whether it’s stopping them from doing their jobs to the highest of their ability. You might find a couple of WIFI boosters are in order. A good wifi booster can make a massive difference. If your modem isn’t in the main office then they’re simply a must especially if you’re using huge, bulky spreadsheets or if you’re using intensive video-based software. If the booster doesn’t work, call your provider. There might be something a little wrong. If not, you might have to simply bite the bullet and go with faster internet speeds. As a business, you might be able to get better rates. Check the comparison sites and ensure you get a sample of the full range of packages on offer. You’ll probably save a bit by swapping especially if you haven’t swapped in a while. Just make sure you’re covered for the gap. That’s when you leave one provider and join the other.
Mix Things Up
People often get bored. It’s natural. Even if they’re completely proficient in their role, boredom can quickly set in. This is why you need to keep things different for your employees. Allow them to see different parts of your business and try new things. This is good for you too. Primarily because it means if someone were to go off sick or suddenly leave, you have someone who is partially trained up in that area to take over. Giving people a different challenge gives them something to sink their teeth into. Something to learn and strive for.
Promotion Is A Must
You have to have promotion opportunities for people. There needs to be a sense of elevation. Otherwise, they’ll go elsewhere. If there aren’t necessarily promotion opportunities, instead think about pay scales. Then they can aim for the next pay scale instead of an outright promotion which will lead people onwards. It’s like a promotion without the title. Or, if you were so inclined, you could create your own levels with names to match, giving the impression of an actual promotion.
Lead By Example
If you want people to work hard, you need to show them how to do it. Be positive, fast, deliver with pace, and ensure you set the right example. Going home early every day? It won’t be long until they follow suit and do the same thing. Make sure you set the right example and the others will come along for the ride. You can really drive your business this way because people will become used to the way you work and do the same. It also means that when you pull people up on mistakes or issues, they’ll actually listen. If you skive off or act like you don’t care, they aren’t going to be bothered when you tell them off or speak to them about something where they’ve made a mistake. It’s very hard to gain respect once you’ve lost it too. Better to never lose it. If you don’t feel like leadership is a forte of yours, you might want to hire a manager who is in charge of this kind of thing rather than mess it up yourself. Sure, it can be more expensive but in the long run, it’ll work out in most instances.