It is important to talk to your employees in order to sort out the best ways of going about hitting targets and finding out where the problems or issues are that stop targets from being hit. It may be that your scheduling is out, that your employees lack the knowledge in certain areas to get the work completed any quicker, or that your technology is so out of date that it is simply slowing the whole process down, and when things go wrong trying to get them back up and running takes an age due to lack of support from experts.
Getting to grips with your scheduling
When it comes to hitting targets, it is important that you have scheduling and planning software that totally meets your business’s requirements and that your company procedures are up to date, customer compliant, and have the current timings attached to them.
If any of these facts are even a little bit out, your scheduling will tumble like a house of cards in the breeze. If your procedures are out of date, it is possible that there are steps that are either being missed out entirely or are an unneeded addition. Either of these points will, of course, throw your timings out of the window.
As will the point of, if you have chosen to time an employee who is fast and used to carry out that particular procedure for your timings rather than someone who may be is not quite so ‘au fait’. This is because there will be a vast difference in the time it takes for each individual to carry out the job, thus will push your timings so that you will always miss your deadline target.
If in doubt when trying to work out procedure times, it is a good idea to time a few different operators doing the same work at different times of the day and not so that they are competing with each other. This will give you a much more accurate idea when it comes to drawing up schedules and, indeed, in planning deadlines with your customers.
Train your employees for different roles
Training your employees for different roles is very important for a number of reasons. It is good that even your top workers know how to carry out even the basic jobs within your business so that they truly know how everything works and what is involved at every stage of any job. This has a two-fold benefit in as much as they will know what they are talking about in future and your workers will have more respect for someone who has, even if just for a little while, worked from the bottom up.
It is also handy to be able to have your best workers follow the workload rather than having them sitting around with not much to do when certain areas of your business take the odd downturn in favor of other areas of your business. Having multiskilled workers within any business is a must in order for that business to grow and outperform its competitors. You may feel that this kind of education can be carried out as in-house training, but of course, there are other areas where a recognized qualification is much more desirable.
These are areas such as Master of Business Administration, for example. An online MBA can be carried out and completed online at the student’s own pace. This provides a fantastic opportunity for students as they will be able to continue with their full-time or part-time employment while studying in their spare time, and it also means that they do not have to be location-specific to the college or universities offering the courses that they are interested in, thus saving valuable traveling times.
With your business paying for these courses for your employees to take advantage of, you will be able to make sure that the courses which you are offering to your employees are of benefit to your business and will indeed take your business further.
Get your technology right
It is important that you provide the correct hardware and software to support your employees in their daily job roles. This is to make sure that they can complete their work to a satisfactory standard and lowers the frustration that can be caused through employees having to either wait for hardware to complete tasks before being able to move on to the next job or having totally incompatible software that is not fit for purpose.
When it comes to modern and up-to-date technology, you will find that it not only works far better but is also compatible with a multitude of different software platforms, making the working life so much easier and faster, while probably taking up less space too. You may feel that buying or hiring new equipment for your employees is money that can be better either used elsewhere in the business or saved altogether, but this is just false economy.
Provide the support that your teams need
In saying this, it is also a very good idea to provide your workforce with the backup and support that they will need should there be a problem or all your technology stop working.
Just as those that work in manufacturing on shops floors require the services of technicians and mechanics for when big machinery either stop working, get clogged up, or need resetting, so do your office staff when it comes to their computers and the software that they are required to work with on a daily basis.
When things go wrong, being able to pick up the phone and have a calm voice talk you out of your panic, which is due to not knowing how to fix the issue or indeed what to do, can be a godsend, especially when you find that with a few simple moves they can fix the problem so that you are up and running again in no time, downtime is then kept to a minimum, stress levels are kept calm, and the workload is still completed on time.