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If you are someone who runs your own business, and with that someone who employs various members of staff, you will know just how important productivity is. You probably encountered this on a personal level when you just began your startup – having to motivate yourself to get up in the morning and start hustling, even if you feel like you would rather spend the whole day in bed. Most people who start their own businesses, however, tend to be the motivated, self-starter types, with lots of ambition. After all, if you don’t have the drive to succeed, you probably would never have entered the world of business anyway. Plus, seeing your company expand and grow is a sure fire way to encourage you to keep going and make something of yourself. But with the growth of your business comes the need for internal expansion.
There will come the point where you have to be prepared to let other people into your business, to keep it functioning in a progressive way. The hiring of qualified staff is one thing – you’ve seen their resumes and their work experience, so you know instantly whether they are the right people for the job or not. But how they operate within your business and how productive they are is another story completely.
You could, on paper, have someone who is more than qualified for the role you’ve given them and look set (initially) to produce some great results. But fast forward two months into their contract, and they simply aren’t pulling their weight. In this scenario, you will need to address the issue and contemplate ways in which you can help to boost your employee’s productivity. There are the usual ways in which you can try and get your team motivated – regular assessments and appraisals, team building activities and even encouraging ‘after work drinks.’ But all this can only go so far, and sometimes you need a new system implemented by the office to help your staff make the very best use of their time. Here are a few ways in which you can do so by using the very thing, so many of us depend on these days: technology.
The idea of being able to nosy in on your employee’s computer screens might be a dreamy one for many CEOs. But in reality, it is a little archaic and intrusive. We are all adults here, after all, and you should be able to trust your staff to get on with their work and not just spend the whole day scrolling up and down Facebook. Plus, insisting that you have access to everyone’s screens could easily land you in hot water with your team and make them feel as though you don’t respect them. So, with that in mind, it is better to trust them with their daily work, but encourage them to make use of productivity apps (for both desktop and mobile) that can monitor how much time they spend mindlessly scrolling over how much time they spend working. If you do have sufficient evidence that certain members of staff are becoming a liability when it comes to surfing the next recreationally on company time, that’s when it may be an idea to step in and block certain websites. Speak to someone who can offer it services about whether they can put a lock (either temporary or permanent) on certain social media sites to take away the temptation for your staff. It may also be worth looking into blocking certain other types of websites from your business’s VPN – adult websites go without saying, and games one may also be worth it too.
If there’s one reason why teams fail in business, it is because of poor communication. There needs to be an established method of communication within your company, whether all decisions have to go through email or if there is a portal available where your staff can cross-reference their work. The best option is to try out a few ideas and see what works best for you. Implement a code of conduct for your email system, such as encouraging your team to classify things as ‘urgent’ and ‘important’ when it is required. For those times when email is simply too slow, encourage your team to communicate via an instant messaging service such as Google Hangouts. Regarding work on-the-go, you may want to consider providing your employees with company smartphones. Sure, this is a big investment on your behalf, but it means you can get them insured on a company policy and you have the added benefit of being able to contact your staff wherever they are in the world.