When focusing on maximising your $$ in managing a business it is essential to think about maximizing your return on the investments you make in your business. The costs associated with employing staff is one of your largest investments in running your business. Therefore, it is essential you maximise your return on investment in your staff.
One of the ways to do this is to focus on productivity. We employ our staff for a certain number of hours to perform a certain role and then we usually measure this return on investment, based on their outputs. But often employees fall short on those outputs and may not be providing you with the maximum return on your investment in paying their wages, payroll tax, super, turnover and replacement costs & the cost of leave etc.
How do we improve employee productivity? Well firstly we must ask ourselves, do our employees understand what is expected of them in terms of outputs? Do you have the following in place to clearly set these expectations with your staff?
- Employment Contracts – outlining the basic expectations for your employment relationship.
- Position Descriptions – outlining both technical and behavioural requirements for employees.
- Performance Management Framework – outlining how performance will be measured, rewarded, improved and managed, as required.
The above tools are the basics in setting expectations and this is the first step to improving your productivity. Furthermore, once these expectations are in place you may also need to look further and review individual roles and/or the distribution of work across roles. This can be done through simple to very complex time and motion studies, but you can start with the basics of reviewing the time spent on an individual’s duties each day. Often you may discover that they are actually spending time on tasks that are not even part of their role and that you may consider unproductive. It may be that they are following a lengthy process that has since been changed to a much simpler process.
There are many factors that influence staff productivity and it will often come down to how we set, measure and manage expectations, so let’s get productive!