Thanks to social networking, around 60% of employees worldwide are visiting non-work related websites during office hours, affecting productivity, said a research by Socialnomics. Times are changing but in business, one thing has not changed – a dire need of productivity.
Imagine how crucial this becomes in the context of a small business. With a budget crunch, limited number of staff and less resources, these businesses must always find ways to increase productivity. Here are a few methods that are quite do-able:
- Use Technology: If you had to choose between appointing a few employees and investing in a computer technology, choose the latter. Invest in technologies that would give you outstanding results for half the time and money. A few examples:
- Internet Communication: This saves time and money. Employees must communicate mostly through emails to people other than clients, instead of phone calls. Internal emails will eliminate time-consuming meetings. Client meetings can save resources when they happen on video conferencing, Skype, etc.
- Software: You can invest in project management software, HR software, attendance and time keeping software, which will minimize the need for appointing more personnel. This minimizes errors and improves efficiency.
- Cloud computing: This is a great idea that would help in solving day-to-day network problems or server issues. Through cloud computing, businesses can easily store and back up their data apart from synchronizing it in multiple devices. A few cloud computing tools can be Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon Cloud drive, etc.
- Right man for the right job: While most employees in a small business have to do tasks that are beyond their purview, this must be controlled consciously. Right from headhunting, the HR managers must select candidates based more on their real-time skills than their resumes. For instance, the Times of India HR team in a small town appointed a Mass Communication graduate for a marketing job since she was more efficient in selling things than writing.
- Perks: There’s a budget crunch in small businesses, and so rewarding the employee in monetary terms is often not cost-effective. Yet employees must be motivated through perks in kind, awards, public recognition of skills and creative challenges.
- Internet Filtering: Researchers in many universities worldwide are finding that a major chunk of employees waste their time on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Install a filtering system in your office that would block these sites. Tell the HR personnel to say it nicely.
Running a small business can be as tricky as running a big empire. Yet, there’s enough room for squeezing in some of these factors for better productivity.