Managing a business is about working smarter, not harder.
It has been shown that the UK is behind in the quality of leadership and management despite its managers working longer. The result is that Britain has fallen behind the rest of Europe regarding economic growth.
If you stick with the old ways of sitting your workforce behind a desk from nine to five and working overtime to get things done, you might just find yourself on the scrap heap with the companies that pioneered that method in the 20th century.
Here are a few tips to help you increase your efficiency and get your business running like a well-oiled machine in the current century.
Get on the Same Page
The ability to effectively manage your employees and potential employees is integral to the success of your operations. A lot of time gets wasted in business settings due to a simple lack of communication.
When employees and managers have differing ideas about what the plan is and how it is getting implemented, the work sputters to a halt.
Technology can help everyone get moving in the right direction. Document sharing software combined with explicit company usage instruction can show, rather than tell, everyone involved what is currently happening and how plans are being executed.
Clarity on objectives shouldn’t be taken for granted, and managers, as well as team members, should not be afraid to ask. It will save time in the long run.
Cut out the Unnecessary
Long meetings may seem like they are good places for collaboration, but sometimes they just waste time going over things that don’t need to be repeated and keep team members from getting to work.
By holding shorter, more energised meetings, a team can quickly check who is planning to do what for the day and make sure no one is wasting time on non-urgent tasks.
Cutting out a lot of one-on-one interaction with employees can also be helpful as long as they are the right kinds. Simple questions and minor problems can waste the time of both parties and halt their workflows.
A manager’s trust in an employee to solve the problem or find a solution on their own can empower the employee and increase efficiency.
Turn Back the Clock
If you give an employee two hours to finish a task that should take only one hour, it will still take two hours. Allotting shorter time to complete work can increase efficiency but don’t just put pressure on yourself or others.
Use timers to keep the pace up and encourage the exclusion of distractions like phones, email or other tasks for the duration of the work. Divide the day into one hour or shorter chunks and assign tasks for each one.
Less Can Be More
Some of the countries that work their employees the longest also have lower productivity than the rest of the developed world. Don’t just throw time and resources at a problem, find new solutions with technology and trim the fat to get your business humming.