Regardless of its size, your business can only go as far as your employees take it. And although the first step to help your company reach its full potential is hiring top talent, it’s also essential to nurture your employees and give them the necessary tools for maximum efficiency. For instance, unmotivated employees are unlikely to go the extra mile for your company, but even the most driven teams won’t be able to work at their best without the appropriate software.
In short, productivity can make or break your company. If you don’t take action to improve communication, team management, efficiency, and morale, it will be hard for your business to thrive. Fortunately, productivity software allows companies to tackle many of these issues.
Managing a Small Team Effectively
The average employee spends 60% of their time attending meetings with no clear goals, chasing approvals, searching for documents, and managing their workload. This is a lot of time spent on menial tasks that don’t add any value to your company. So, the first challenge to face is to find a way of reducing the time spent organizing work. Effectively delegating tasks and showing employees how to manage their time is a great starting point. Strategies like the Pomodoro technique or the ‘getting things done’ method are just a few proven tactics that help people declutter their minds and focus on the important tasks at hand.
However, to have your team performing at their best, there are a lot of human capital management best practices that need to be followed. This can be the most challenging part, as people are complex and what works for some might not work for others. That’s why it’s essential to have transparent communication with your employees and know what motivates them individually. Not taking this into consideration can decrease overall productivity and even result in losing top talent to other organizations or mental illnesses like burnout.
Recommended Productivity Tools for Small Businesses
Even though software isn’t able to tackle an employee’s motivational issues, it does solve some logistical productivity challenges. Here’s what we recommend using to boost your team’s productivity:
Password Manager: 1Password
Project Management: Asana
If you don't use a project management platform, we can imagine what your calendar looks like – meetings across the board and a lot of notes to catch up on after each one. Some meetings are undeniably essential, especially when you're starting a new project or need to reevaluate your business strategies, but too many meetings cut the time your employees have to focus on their work. Let's not forget that most meetings drag on for longer than necessary and that sometimes the final output could have been obtained with a simple message. Project management platforms are the perfect tool to eliminate unnecessary meetings while keeping everyone on the same page as users can create projects, add subtasks, and leave comments for everyone to see. Thorough project management tools, like Asana, even let you set up task dependencies and automatically notify users when it's time to start their part of a project.
Productivity Monitoring: ActivTrak
Email Management: SaneBox
Best Ways To Boost Productivity
Although using the right software improves efficiency, the way your small team works is what most impacts their productivity. Thankfully, many companies have already researched how to boost their productivity, and there are several best practices you can follow to deliver a higher output with less effort.
Simplifying your surroundings is a great place to start. While project management apps help clear up your information flow, you should also declutter your working space. Only having the essentials on your desk and always keeping things in the same place is a good way to prevent losing time looking for a document or a stapler.
With everything we need to do during a day, it's easy to think that multitasking can help you finish more tasks in a shorter period of time. But that’s not entirely true. In fact, you should avoid multitasking altogether, as our brains aren't wired to process several tasks simultaneously. It will not only take you longer to finish both tasks, but the quality of your work will also suffer. It's better to just do one task at a time and capitalize on your peak productivity hours. For instance, if you have several meetings you need to attend in a day, try to schedule them all in a row, giving yourself the rest of the day to focus on your to-do list.
Additional Advice for Small Businesses
Productivity is indeed crucial, but there are many other aspects that business owners need to worry about. From marketing to payroll and online security, small business owners need to be a jack of all trades. Fortunately, we live in an era where technology can help with less important tasks, allowing you to focus on the most essential elements of a small business, such as strategy and human capital management.