HOW DO I ENABLE MY STAFF TO WORK SMARTER ?
For company Owners / Directors, there are various ways of enabling your staff to work Smarter, to complete more work in the available time, or higher quality work done in a similar amount of time.
Here are 10 practical suggestions to make each member of staff much more Productive:
1. Ensure every member of Staff has their own Job Description (JD), for all their roles
The first element of making every member of staff more Productive is to write down each of their annual/monthly objectives, deliverables, deadlines and expected Standard; This should be for their normal work, their Interim work when covering others and their role in the Resilience Plan (e.g. Coronavirus). This is especially useful for staff to know what is clearly expected of them and for their 6 monthly reviews.Further since 6th April 2020, all new staff have to be provided a written contract of employment. The law used to be up to two months from their start date, but this year that to month grace period was removed last April. A Job description obviously needs to detail any initial Probationary Period, the conditions of any leave entitlements, details of all pay and benefits and the days of the week the employee if required to work on. Crucially this also now includes any “Zero-Hour” workers.
2. Ensure every member of staff has Job Descriptions which includes all their work expected of them
In each JD, identify another staff member to review every piece of work for Quality Assurance. Identify training required for all staff, for the existing work, for the Continuity plan, for staff illness / absence cover
3. Ensure a Plan of each month or week’s deliverables / objectives is obviously visible
In order to support teams working better together, more Productively and more reliably, teams should each be aware of all their collective work expected, the timescales and Quality standards required. This will enable greater team-working, sharing of work and promote Reliability that the team will deliver their work.
4. Train all Staff to better use their existing IT software & fix regular IT problems
Most people are able to use their IT but are not proficient or efficient with it and struggle most days. This is THE single most Effective Productivity measure every company would benefit from immediately.
5. Ask the most Productive Staff (Not necessarily the longest-serving) to train other staff
The cheapest training available is to ask the most Productive Staff to train new or less productive staff to be as good as they are. The most Productive staff are often 25% to 33% more Productive than the least.
6. Train all supervisors / managers how to Manage People, before they are promoted
Most people leave their job because they are badly managed, because their manager treats them differently to others, disrespects them or their work, does not appreciate their efforts or mistreats them. Unless inadvertent Supervisors/managers are trained to manage staff, they will not work productively, or leave.
7. Measure Productivity of Individuals & Teams: Set Targets & Measure Productivity
There are lots of Productivity benchmarks on the Internet, find the most appropriate ones and use them.
8. The cost of Errors / Mistakes / Rework is very high, so find any way of eradicating them.
The tangible cost of rectifying mistakes, doing the same work twice, undoing mistakes and making good the reject is much higher than most companies realise, in twice the materials, twice the staff effort, twice the checking etc.. The intangible cost of errors can easily reduce customer confidence in reordering etc..
9. Apply Pareto Principle (80-20%) where it is appropriate, to reinforce Quality Assurance in Staff
Often just getting a job done is more important than it being Perfect, so Train your staff where to concentrate their efforts the most, empower your staff to understand where they add the most value.