Operating a business, no matter which industry you enter, is vastly competitive. It comes as no surprise then that small business owners are especially critical of how productive their employees are. Low productivity is bad for business, we don’t need to be rocket scientists to figure that out.
One of the most common (and most obvious) reasons why there is a decrease in productivity is employee interaction. In a dog-eat-dog world, there’s still such a thing as too much and too little and both can result in loss instead of profit. Striking the right balance is crucial in ensuring that productive time is exactly what it should be: productive.
Employee interaction is dependent on different factors. One is coordination. To operate a smooth-flowing business, delegation is key to meeting quotas and deadlines. So coordination between employees is necessary.
A lack of communication between these employees and you are sure to have them redo the whole thing all over again until they get it right. The result? You may end up too pressed for time that you will be putting out a substandard product or service or you may have exceeded the budget just to meet the deadline. Either way, you’re at the losing end.
Tips on Balancing Employee Interaction:
- Your meetings should be direct and to-the-point. Team meetings are not for social engagement. Most often than not, it is the time when you touch base about the progress of a certain project or clarification of what needs to be done so keep it short and simple so that your employees can get back to work.
- Before setting up a meeting, make sure that you’re prepared. The reason why some meetings go on and on for hours is because you expound on matters that are really simple and forget about those that need considerable time for more explanation. Make a bulleted list of what needs to be done, what you’re expecting as their output and why you need it done in that way.
- Set an earlier deadline. This would ensure that you have ample time for revisions if there are any needed. Doing this would also help you keep your commitments to clients.
- Emphasize that while your company promotes employee engagement, it should be done at the appropriate time, in an appropriate place. Make sure your employees know how to value their time because it is a precious commodity.
- Set clear goals.
Factor in errors as well. Since there is coordination between your employees, there’s bound to be errors caused by imperfect communication. Another one is duplicity of work. Work should not be a guessing game. It should be well cascaded where one’s responsibilities begin and where it ends. Redundancy = Wasted time.
It is also important to note that while an employee is very good at what he/she does, there are times that communication between employees is already over and beyond the tasks related to the job. The minutes spent discussing who gets credit or who needs to be blamed, posturing for promotion and recognition, these would lower productivity level which in turn would cost you more money.
Of course social banter is normal and it is a necessity even in any company run by humans. But the key is to even things out and there is high leverage once you get it right.