By James Rubec
1. Go Mobile
In a recent study that looked at mobile device usage in Canadian companies the Information and Communication Technologies Council estimates that companies have increased their overall productivity by 3% through their employees’ use of mobile devices. That might not seem like a lot, but three percent productivity can lead to a 3% increase in sales, or reduction in man hours.
Tip: Most companies don’t have a mobile strategy developed. Using mobile applications and peripheral devices can streamline workflow, reduce travel times and expedite communication or decision making.
2. Retain and retrain
Employees are your most valued assest. Investing in their training will improve their productivity and increase loyalty. It is estimated that employees who are trained by their employer see an improvement in productivity of 5% to 12.5%.
Tip: There is a skills shortage, you need to evaluate if it is easier to hire a new team with the skills you need, or train from within. Which will take more time? Which will cost more money? These questions need to be looked at on a case by case basis but remember this, someone who is already in your company knows your brand and believes in it.
3. Meetings, who needs them?
I first heard Jason Fried make the argument when I worked at a job where we had too many meetings. Way too many. The juxst of the argument is that the more people you have in a meeting, the longer it takes to come to a conclusion, fully explain an idea and even start or end the meeting. Meetings can be giant productivity sucks, draining value from projects or souls from employees.
Tip:Keep meetings as brief as possible with as few people as possible and always have an agenda. If you know how you’re starting the meeting, what you want to accomplish and why all of the people in the meeting are there, go for it. Meetings can be a great way to build consensus and explain complicated subjects that otherwise would be misunderstood.
4. Healthy living incentives
You don’t need to put a pool in the boardroom, but making your workplace flexible for those who are inclined to exercise before, after or during work hours can improve workplace health and productivity.Good help helps reduce man-hours lost due to illness and is a powerful cost savings. In the long run improved health improves productivity and reducesa health cares costs incured through insurance companies.
Tip: Healthy workplaces are as much about culture as they are about doctrine. If you want to see the benefits of an active workforce lead the way.
5. Listen to front lines in the boardroom
The people on the ground floor might know more about how to save the company money than you do. Your processes may have gotten to be so laborious that they are slowly down production, impeding service or contributing to workplace dread. Think of the TPS report from the movie Office Space. If it serves little purpose and can be done in a more efficient way, you may only learn about it by listening to your frontline staff.
Tip: Listening to what the team below you is saying and keenly acting on their recommendations will make them feel more valued. If a team says there is an opportunity for cost savings, test it. If it works make it the new standard.