Your labor force can make or break your business. Skilled employees can offer your customers excellent care and top-notch support. As you plan your business growth, it’s imperative that your business is well-balanced to ensure healthy productivity. Your company’s productivity will depend on how efficiently you implement your labor force strategies.
Inflationary worries are hitting everyone, from business owners to the newest intern. It’s time to take a hard look at your employee paychecks. You may offer the best benefits in your region, but if your employees are running short of cash at the end of each pay period, they’re going to be tempted to look for work elsewhere.
A high employee turnover can be disastrous for companies. The cost of time and money spent on training a new hire will be a lot higher than you’d think. The most successful companies make sure their employees are being treated right and fairly. If your business is compared to a clock, then your employees are the cogs. The best clocks in the world are run with the best cogs. It’s important to take the time to polish and maintain each cog to relieve the strains and pressures on the cogs around it.
Make a survey of the pay scale in your region. Check out blogs that are related to your field. For example, if you are into construction and mechanics, read the air compressor blog. Carefully review the local average for skilled vs. non-skilled workers, or for any certifications or degrees that your business requires. If you can’t beat the local offerings, you may have to sweeten the deal in other ways.
Offer overtime in a planned, orderly fashion. If you know that the holiday crush will hit right after Thanksgiving, ask for overtime volunteers in October. Put a limit on the number of overtime hours you can offer, but offering at least 10 hours of overtime to all employees could be a great way to boost both your productivity and their income for a short stretch of time.
Pushing to get more done in a shorter period of time without benefit to the workers is a poor policy goal. If you can’t offer overtime, offer perks such as
- a cash bonus at the end of the crunch time
- coffee, snacks, and meals
- paid time off
Avoid offering a big party. Here’s why: By the end of crunch time, your employees have been together a lot. They have missed time with their families. Inviting employees to spend leisure time together is not supportive of their life outside work or of work-life balance in general.
There are a lot of reasons your business should consider outsourcing certain tasks. For example, if your HR department is struggling or unskilled, you could enlist the service of a third-party human resource provider to instantly upgrade your HR department to a professional level.
Another way to upgrade your labor force may be to partner with a temp agency. If your business is constantly hiring heavily during one season and having to lay off during another, it may be time to find a temp agency. Avoid painful layoffs by dividing your labor force into permanent employees and temporary workers. Use a local temp agency in Mobile Al, or other areas near you. Doing this will also allow you to study your current employees for chances to advance.
One of the best ways to make sure new employees stick around is to onboard them effectively and train them well. As you bring in temporary workers, note which of your current employees is good at
- welcoming new employees
- training your temps
- following up and supporting these folks
Because your goal is to grow your business, you will always need good trainers and an effective initiation to your culture. Your best trainers of temporary workers may well be your next managers.
Employees can’t be productive with shoddy tools. Whether that means you need to replace the vacuum cleaner the janitor uses or install a new air compressor for your workshop, your investment in more effective tools will have a huge impact on both productivity and morale. Another example is investing in time off management software, which streamlines the process of employee time off requests, reducing errors and increasing employee satisfaction while maintaining work-life balance.
Loop your managers and QC team in on this process. If you notice that some areas of a shop have downtime because they need to fiddle with an unreliable tool, make it a priority to either fix it or replace it. If your admin team can’t support your leadership team consistently because their computers are aging out of usefulness, invest in new computers. Leaving employees to struggle with tools that don’t work is one of the best ways to destroy morale.
You can boost your employee productivity by training them. A simple way to do this is to offer training over paid meal breaks. You can start a brown bag gathering and let a skilled employee demonstrate how to use a computer tool, such as creating formulas on a spreadsheet or linking across a document.
The newly trained employees may not immediately be able to go out and recreate what they observed, but they now have a co-worker they can invite over to show them one more time. You can boost employee engagement, improve employee skill sets, and build a roster of trainers who can help you onboard new employees.
Employees who feel valued are more likely to engage. Increasing pay, listening to feedback, and acting on training and improvement requests will increase engagement. Engaged employees will go the extra mile when the crunch hits.