As the proud owner of a small business, you’re always looking for simple ways to increase productivity at the workplace. You’ve hand-chosen all your employees and know that they do the best job that they can do, but sometimes small changes can help streamline your office and make it run much more smoothly.
Buckle Down on Printing
As 90s kids all grown up, the culture exists in many working adults today to print everything. While this is probably a leftover from Mrs. Strom’s eighth-grade English class and others like it, remember that today digital files exist for a reason. Familiarize your employees with the Cloud and encourage its use as opposed to printing all documentation. Some of the most common documents that can save ink and paper include:
- Brochures, flyers and other marketing materials
- Newsletters and agendas from meetings
- Reports and other multi-paged items
An additional item to remember is that sometimes printing is a reality; until the federal government comes to terms with some documentation being cloud-based, sadly not everything can stay digital. At these moments there can be sensitive items that need printing, in which case you should have some kind of secure printing system in place. These are perfect for the workplace because not only do they allow you to pick up your job from any printer’s tray, but a secure code unique to the person who is doing the printing is linked to the machine. This means that you can see who is printing what, where they are printing it and determine whether or not it should have stayed online or if it needed to be printed.
Be Meticulously Organized
This seems like it would be a no-brainer, but not everyone has the resources to guide them through keeping an office organized. If you’re one of those people and need a few jumping-off points, some starting places might include:
- Processes and procedures. Do you have a strict way that you want things done or have your employees kind of had to copy and paste their own methods over the years? Make sure that if you want something done a certain way that you train your employees to embrace that culture, whatever it happens to be.
- Paperwork and files. If you have filing cabinets, use them. Make sure that you have labels, color-coded folders and plenty of sticky notes to be sure that everything is in its proper place. If you’re struggling to think of categories, consider green for finances, orange for HR matters and hot pink for client’s contact information.
- Payroll information and client folders. You most likely have some sort of file for each of your employees so make sure that you keep them in a readily-accessible and secure location. You want to be able to have them handy in case you need them, but you also want prying eyes to be kept at bay. If you can afford to do so, check into hiring an accountant. These licensed professionals can help you with tracking employee hours as well as making sure that paychecks are calculated properly.
Do You Have What You Need?
The right tools and equipment to do the job are essential if you want it done properly. Make sure that you have outfitted your employees with everything they need to make the day run more smoothly.
- This can mean physical equipment like computers, barcode scanners and tablets. Are your employees complaining that they’re not able to get enough done because they only share one computer, or there are only enough tablets for a few people to do their job at once? Consider the needs of each person and their typical job description.
- What about software and applications to speed up processes? For example, many companies are foregoing the traditional cash register and till set up and are going with apps like Square software. Another example might be Quickbooks software to help you manage money and finances for your business.
- It might sound silly, but are there enough items like pens and pads of paper? Post-Its and Sharpie markers? While writing is not as essential in the workforce as it used to be, scrambling around looking for a pen can look unprofessional to clients.
Show Appreciation To Your Staff
Life gets insanely busy and your business is no exception. Despite the busyness, don’t forget to remind your staff how much you appreciate their hard work and acknowledge a job well done when the need arises. It’s not always grand gestures that make an impact, sometimes the smallest things mean the most.
- Who doesn’t love a casual Friday? Relax the rules on Fridays and allow your employees to wear jeans and sweatshirts. If that seems like too much for you, why not every payday, or perhaps a Friday going into a holiday weekend? Seeing that you’re cool enough to let your hair down a little bit shows your staff that you’re not just The Boss, but a person as well.
- Buy lunch for everyone from time to time. This doesn’t have to be an everyday thing since it adds up, but surprising your employees with a catered meal can be an awesome way to say thank you to them.
- Donuts and coffee are always a winner. Whether you choose to do this on a schedule like every Wednesday or make it random, it doesn’t matter. Everyone loves and appreciates it when the boss decides to go the extra mile for them.
Helping your small business run more smoothly is only as difficult as making a few small changes here and there. Allow your company to be its best by doing what you can to make it run more efficiently.
Bio: Finnegan Pierson loves business and has a passion for technology. Even more interesting is the combination of the two. As a freelance writer, Finn hopes to influence others so they can have a positive business experience.