Maximising your resources in an efficient manner has always been a critical part of succeeding in business. And when we think about resources, we generally tend to think time and money, maybe even supply chain or inventory.

But what about our people? How do we maximise them as a resource? Have you ever stopped to consider that? Yes? Have you put something into your regular business processes to facilitate that? Maybe. I’d hazard a guess it’s a tool or a system. Right?

These days, there are so many stories abound about steps to make the most of the time in the day (ie: don’t do email first thing, track your time, etc) and hence raise productivity.

There are also hundreds of productivity apps available. There are those to remind people to do things, block them from doing other things, schedule their day, time activities, etc. And, it’s tempting to get caught up in thinking that x, y or z tool is the key to improving your people’s output. And whilst a tool or system might help,  chances are though it won’t be the fix all you’re looking for.

So if it’s not a tool or system that ultimately makes the difference what else is there?

Have you ever stopped to think you might be affecting your people’s productivity? Yes, really. Research has shown that management interference (even if it’s done with the best intentions) often has a negative impact on productivity outcomes. So what can you do?

3 ways your can achieve maximum staff efficiencies.

Don’t micro-manage

You’ve no doubt spent a goodly portion of time selecting and training the right team members. Now let them do their jobs. Demonstrate how much you appreciate their skill sets by allowing each team member to perform their work to the best of their abilities with as little management intervention as possible.

Micro-managing less will let you take note of any staff members who aren’t performing to the required standard, whilst allowing star employees to stretch their wings and produce top-notch work. Greater freedom also allows employees to come up with better or more creative solutions for your business and/or your customers. Try putting less pressure on your employees by allowing them to set their own pace for completing projects, giving them greater freedom over their schedules.

Recognise and reward great work

Once your team is showcasing their capabilities on a regular basis, it’s crucial to recognise the great work they’re producing. Recognition can be as simple as a verbal pat on the back and a reward can be an early mark, day off or something more formal/more expensive.

Key to any reward/recognition achieving the desired effect of making someone feel appreciated (and motivated to achieve more) is to make sure that the reward and recognition is tailored to the person receiving it. Some people love to receive praise and be made a fuss of in front of the team and others would rather poke themselves in the eye than be the centre of attention. Make sure you know which of your team members are which. If you’re not sure, ask them how they’d like to be recognised/rewarded.

Allow for improvements

Nobody’s perfect all the time and mistakes will happen – even amongst those who are striving for greatness. In fact, often these are the guys that will make mistakes from time to time, because they’re pushing the boundaries. Let them. Very few mistakes are ultimately unfixable. Just make sure that you’ve got a process in place to catch them early.

When you find a mistake has been made, fix it first, then have a conversation about lessons learned and how that mistake can be avoided in the future and move on. Resist the urge to lay blame. The team’s morale will remain intact and they’ll remember the lesson just as well.

By allowing people to come to you when they notice something’s amiss without fear, you’re strengthening not only your team and their morale, but your internal quality assurance processes as well.

And with that in mind, if you’ve recently uncovered an issue or an area of your business could do with some improvements especially around your profitability we’d love to talk to you further. You can call Kerry on 6023 1700, drop us a note or connect with Kerry via LinkedIn.

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