I was watching BBC News earlier this week when a report caught my attention. A business journalist was discussing how the UK is trailing behind its European counterparts when it comes to workforce productivity. Are us Brits really that lazy at work that we all sit around all day sipping tea and planning our weekends rather than getting stuck into our work?
I don’t think it’s a matter of being lazy at all, I just think we’re a little bit behind some countries when it comes to investing in our workforces. As a country, the UK has struggled throughout the recession and, it was to be expected that companies would be more frugal as we got over the worst of it, thinking of employee investment as a luxury, not a necessity.
It doesn’t cost the earth to ensure you are getting everything out of your staff; these 4 simple things may be denting your productivity and could be remedied rather swiftly.
1) Process problems
Having a lack of any concrete process or ‘way of doing things’ will undoubtedly lead to a slump in productivity. This may sound basic to some of you, but some companies simply ‘wing it’ with no real process or structure in place. It can be as simple as the way you report back on activity or how you spend money. Having a process will make sure everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to getting stuff done.
However, having too many processes and too much ‘red tape’ can also lead to things not getting done. You need to strike the right balance between implementing processes and giving employees the right amount of autonomy to do their own thing.
2) Too much at once
Of course, you want your staff to be pushed and challenged to take on new projects, but don’t overload their plates so much that they can’t see the wood for the trees. If they feel you have too much on, you need to ensure that they aren’t scared to say no or take a backseat on a project. Taking on too much can often be to the detriment of their current projects and duties.
3) Admin overload
Ahhhh admin. Whether it’s typing up notes from your meeting this morning or updating your age-old spreadsheet after a week on the road, we all hate it. I’m not saying that admin isn’t necessary, more that the day spent doing admin could be better spent on more pressing matters.
With the right tools, a hefty admin load can be drastically reduced. Producing weekly reports need not take hours. Preparing for customer meetings doesn’t need to be a hassle. Updating your CRM need not be a Monday morning rush job.
4) Lack of technology
We all know that most new tech can save us a lot of time. Thanks to everything from smartphones and tablets to collaborative software like Google Docs, gone are the days of scrawling notes on work before passing it around the team for the week. Technology is any business’ best friend and should be embraced.
Shying away from the technology available to you can really put a dent in your productivity levels. Why spend hours creating sales reports when software can do it for you in no time? Technology is supposed to be an enabler, allowing your workers to get more done not constantly battle with non-working systems. It has moved on leaps and bounds in the last few years, to the point that most software is as easy to use as any website.
Fancy a look at how technology can boost your productivity? Get in touch and request your demo today.