My 7 Point Plan To Perfecting Your Business Performance
Has your business grown to the point where you need another level of management, to stay in control and still have time to work on developing your markets? Are you recruiting employees for the first time?
If you are in this position and nervous about moving through the next growth barrier, THE 7 Point Plan for Perfecting Business Performance will guide you through some pitfalls to avoid.
Point 1 Work Flow & Job Design – Keep it Simple
Getting your business set up, to optimize performance and maximize profits, right from the start can be a challenge, especially if your expertise lies in your product or service and not in managing a business. The most important resources in your business are your People – your employees.
Managing people, however, doesn’t come naturally to everyone, so over the next two months my 7 Point Plan to Perfecting Business Performance will provide clear steps and guidance to honing your own management skills, harmonise your business working environment, creating the culture you want to nurture for the future and, ultimately, optimise your staff performance. Then you can start to step back from the day-to-day minutiae and focus on growing your business, whilst your managers and employees work IN the business.
Before employing any new staff, have a very clear ideas as to why you need the additional resource in the business, what you want them to achieve, and how you are going to ensure they succeed. A robust, clearly written, and well thought out job description is essential to ensuring your new employee or manager understands exactly what is expected of them in terms of their responsibilities, key performance indicators, and levels of authority and accountability. However, giving them the opportunity to perform to their optimum in the role also depends on them feeling engaged and valued in the business.
In their 2015 report “Building Productivity in the UK”, ACAS identified 3 clear markers of well-designed work all related to employee engagement:
a. Managers and leaders are clear about the value of people when it comes to designing jobs and organizing work as a whole
b. Employees feel clear about their job role and have scope to innovate, and to influence the way their job is done and how work is organized
c. Employers place a high premium on using and developing the skills of their workforce and recognise that continual learning and training is an investment for the business and the individual
The report highlights that discretion and autonomy offer your staff the opportunity to have some control over the way in which they carry out their role.
So when designing the work flow and job role, the following points will guide you to achieving these markers:
The chance to use existing skills and develop new ones
Keeping people interested and engaged is essential to optimize output, so if the worker has the opportunity to make best use of their existing skills this will ensure they are keen to prove their worth to your business. Equally, giving them the opportunity to learn new skills and USE those in their job will make them feel valued. You will reap the rewards through the quality and output of work they deliver for you. Remember Training is a Necessity not a Luxury!
The right tools to do the job
If your staff have to work in a “make do and mend” environment, the tools and equipment are worn out, faulty or slow, or the processes are clunky and inefficient, they will become frustrated and demotivated. Too often businesses fail to invest in proper work analyses, more effective software or systems, or equipment to ensure the work being carried out is as streamlined as possible. This is false economy. The cost of the inefficiencies caused by slow technology or machinery, can be quickly recovered in productivity and output if given the right tools to do the job. Don’t scrimp on helping your staff do the best job they can.
Variety of work
Gone are the days of sitting at a desk with the same pile of documents day in day out, or standing on the manufacturing line repeating the same activity over and over again. It’s a proven fact that performance drops when carrying out the same task repeatedly over many hours. Train your employees in a variety of different jobs so they can swap round and take the monotony out of their days. This will also give you greater flexibility if anyone goes off sick, or on holiday – you will still have trained personnel available to ensure output continues as normal.
A degree of interdependence with other roles and people
Working in a team always boosts an individual’s motivation to do a good job, in front of their peers. However, teamwork is not all about having the competitive edge over colleagues. Studies carried out prove that “where there were formally designated teams, there was also increased contentment and enthusiasm”. Creating a well-balanced team, where one work station depends on another, with a variety of skills and expertise, as well as the opportunity to experiment and evolve their work methods, will bring fluidity and dynamism to the work.
Flexible working hours and patterns
Flexi-time, job share, and homeworking have all been a constant source of debate recently, with employers starting to listen to employees needs for the ever elusive work/life balance. Achieving this would undoubtedly make everybody happy, but there is no utopia. Analysing and designing work patterns is a delicate balance between satisfying the needs of the business and it’s clients, against the ever-changing dynamics of our social and family oriented environment. However, its then worth consulting and working with staff as to how to fulfill those work patterns, to give them a sense of being valued and their personal lifestyles and family needs are being taken into consideration. Be sure, however, to be fair and consistent in any contractual agreements you arrive at.
Good use of physical space
Space is a valuable resource with rent, rates and utility costs often being high up the overhead costs. Utilizing that space effectively is paramount, and ensuring you create a pleasing work atmosphere for your employees will also improve output. Creating a comfortable working atmosphere considering heat, light, breakout areas, hygienic wash facilities, the décor, and the tidiness (as well as health and safety) of the area – may sound trivial but influences people’s effectiveness in the workplace.
Careful planning in advance can provide an excellent workforce that will remain loyal to your business. The next step is to ensure the staff are managed effectively. Point 2 of The 7 Point Plan will discuss how to ensure your Managers Manage effectively, to get the best from teams.
YOUR NEXT STEPS TO GREATER PRODUCTIVITY
Alluxi is here to offer you support through these times of change, bringing a facts and figures approach to evolve your business and realise your goals.
As a first step towards identifying your current business challenges and evaluating where your future opportunities exist within your business, we invite you to complete the in-depth Alluxi Business Success Scorecard delving into the 10 key critical success areas.
Take 15 minutes to respond to the scorecard and get your results within minutes. You’ll have the opportunity to book a follow-up Productivity to Profit Breakthrough Session to find out how you can implement rapid and measurable improvements.
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