Despite us having access to so many technological advances that help us save time, employees in 2020 are spending longer than ever before at the office.  The increased hours don’t necessarily translate to increased efficiency, however. As a manager, it’s important to provide your employees with a good work-life balance but doing so doesn’t have to mean sacrificing the business.  Below are some tips that will help you to promote efficiency in the office, lowering your employee work hours while increasing your bottom line.

1. Trust Your Employees

If you run a small business, you’re probably used to having a hand in every little part of the company.  However, this could be costing you in terms of employee morale and efficiency. You need to trust that you have hired qualified people for each of your departments and let them work without a micromanaging manager looking over their shoulder.  If you feel the need to check every task, you are only wasting your time and your employees’ time. Give your employees a chance to prove themselves and you’ll notice their efficiency soar.

2. Learn to Communicate Effectively

Good communication is key to a productive workforce.  However, while emails have certainly made it easy to contact numerous people with the touch of a button, one study by McKinsey found that emails took over 28% of an employee’s time.  That’s over one-quarter of a workday spent looking at, and responding to, email!  Instead of relying solely on email to communicate, look into alternative technologies such as Slack and Trello.  A quick phone call or a short team meeting can also be effective.

3. Incentivize Your Employees

A happy workforce is a productive workforce, and if morale is low in your company, it’s likely that your employees are feeling demotivated to work.  To combat this, look at some of the ways that you can incentivize your employees. Some of the options include:

  • Paid Time Off: While a bonus or raise could end up costing your company a lot of money, paid time off is a good compromise.  Give your employees a number of days of Paid Time Off that don’t require them to take vacation time.
  • Lazy Mondays: Rather than expecting your employees to get to work for 9 am on a Monday, introduce Lazy Mondays and let your employees turn up later in the morning. Encourage them to get enough sleep and you’ll find they’re more productive during the hours they are at work.
  • Start a Wellness Program: Not only will a wellness program incentivize your employees, but it will also contribute to them being healthier and thus taking less sick time off.
  • Send a Handwritten Note: If an employee has done an exceptionally good job at something, send them a handwritten note to thank them.  It’s good to recognize when an employee has made the extra effort.

4. Train Employees

Finally, if you can afford to put some of your employees through school, it’s a good idea to do so.  Training your employees won’t just boost morale – it will also boost efficiency in the workplace.  Training courses can educate employees on the correct way to do a task, eliminating time wasted and teaching them the necessary skills to do their job.  While advanced degrees are a good idea, seminars, workshops and mentoring can be just as effective.
It’s important that you, as a manager, are aware of the things you can do to boost morale and thus increase efficiency in your company.  It’s wise to also educate the HR department on these tips as well.

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