6 Things to Do When You Notice Your Business Productivity Dropping

Mike Vardy

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Productivity is vital when it comes to business and if you’ve noticed that your productivity levels are dropping, you need to do something about it quickly.

You might notice soon after your productivity levels start dropping that your sales drop along with it. That’s something your business cannot afford. Here are some simple suggestions as to what you should do when you notice business productivity dropping.

Talk To Your Employees

One of the first things you need to do is to talk to your employees. Without them, there is no business because you would never be able to keep up with the demand. As such, this should be your first point of call.

When productivity drops there is usually a reason and you’ve got to find out what it is. Your employees may very well hold the answers. If you want to get those answers from them, you can do one of two things:

  1. Foster an open door policy where you offer your employees the opportunity to come and talk to you if they feel like they have a problem. If they feel like they can come to you with their issues to get help, they are going to be a lot happier than having to hide them from you. If you’re concerned that you may face constant interruption by putting this sort of policy in place, then create “open door hours.” This time is where you dedicate your attention for these kind of discussions. That way you’re in the proper mindset to listen and learn from your employees when they come to your door.
  2. You could simply monitor who is doing what and use that tactic to find out where the problem is. When you find it you can call this person – or the people into your office – and ask them if there is anything that you can do to help. Try to find out why there is a problem and if you can help them before taking any further action. Not only will this benefit your business, but it will also build strong relationships with your employees. Again, you can set aside specific time periods for this sort of interaction so that the meetings are as focused as possible.

Invest In New Technology

You should also think about investing in new technology as this could help get things done more efficiently. If the competition is using the latest technology and you’re still using products from 2010, you’re going to have a difficult time keeping up. This isn’t something your employees can handle. Only you can get the ball rolling with the introduction of new technology into the mix. 

Figure out what kind of things you’re going to need and then consider them an investment into the future of your business. If you don’t know where to start, then you could look at what other companies in your industry are using. Then just take inspiration from that to get the wheels moving.

You must invest the time and attention into this kind of research. Then you need to implement those tools into your company’s workflow along with the right kind of resources to accompany them. Once you’ve done that and give it time and space to take hold, you should see your productivity start to climb.

Hire Some Help

It might be that you don’t have enough people currently working for you. Or you might have enough people, but you don’t have the right people.

Sometimes you need a specialist for certain areas of your business to ensure everything is done as efficiently as possible. In my business, I’ve hired help that has worked on general business practices (such as administration duties) and more specialized help to handle things like podcast production and video editing.

Similarly, if your business needs help with things like monitoring its own technology to keep it running, then you should look into hiring IT support and a couple of other services that can help boost your productivity. By hiring these experts you are getting the best solution possible for your business, which in turn will make you more successful on the market.

I know that it can be expensive to do this. But if you don’t find a way to get your business productivity increased, then your business isn’t going to generate the necessary profit anyway. A workflow problem becomes a cash flow problem.

One thing I’ve done is reframe how I look at hiring. I think of it as a necessity rather than an option. Follow that line of thinking and you will find it far easier to come to terms with the idea of hiring help.

Get More Involved

Instead of waiting for your employees to come to you, you could go to them. As the boss, you could always get more involved in the company.

If you have experience in the field, then you could be extremely helpful to those working for you. Give them some advice, go around and help them where they need it, and take more of a hands-on approach to your business. One side effect to this – besides a possible boost in business productivity – is that it shows your employees that you care about your business. This is especially important if you run a large company – one that is multi-layered and multi-departmented.

If you jump in and get involved more often, you’re not just seen as a figurehead who sits at the top and doesn’t contribute to the business other than behind the scenes. You give your employees someone to get behind rather than hiding in your office all day with little to no one knowing who you are or what you do.

Try Changing Up The Office

Another thing that you should consider is changing up the office. The mood and vibe of the workplace is important when it comes to productivity. If you have people sequestered in desks trapped away from others, then there isn’t going to be a sense of community in your business. You want people to feel as though they can interact and help each other. That’s how you start to build a productive team.

Changing up the office comes in different forms. If there are currently “boring browns” on the walls, change them for a colour that inspires happiness and energy. The human brain reacts to different colours in different ways. If you’ve got decor that’s overwhelmingly brown – a colour that indicates boring and dull – that can send the wrong message. Why? Because neither of those qualities are ones you want your business to be. (Again, you can talk to the employees and get ideas from them about what would make them happier in the office.)

Set Goals For Your Team

The last thing that I’m going to suggest is that you start setting goals for your team. Come up with one goal per day, per week, or per month that your team needs to meet. Giving them a deadline and something to work towards might improve your productivity quite quickly. People like to meet their targets and when they have something to strive for they are willing to work as hard as possible to get there. That is why targets are such a good incentive for people. In addition, through goals you get to evaluate your employees more readily to see how they are engaging with the work. Unmet targets are often the sign of something bigger that you’ll want to address sooner rather than later.

These goals should be in line with what the company needs at any given time. All goals that you set should benefit the company when they are reached. If you can’t think of any group goals, you can always set each department a goal and see how this works. It’s all about finding what works best for your company.

All of these suggestions are worth exploring – even if you start with just one and make your way slowly from there. The key is to get started before you experience your business productivity dropping so that way you can avoid the decreases as much as possible.

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I'm Mike Vardy, better known as The Productivityist, and my goal is to offer ideas, insights, and information that will help you craft your time better and become more personally productive.

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