What do you think of when you hear the term productivity? Many business owners make the mistake of assuming that productivity means working themselves and their employees harder, but putting more pressure on your employees to get more done can actually be counterproductive. When it comes to increasing productivity, what most businesses need is innovation.
Innovation means finding intelligent and creative ways to improve your business, rather than just cracking the whip harder. Innovation is how you can find ways of improving the output of your business and employees for less effort and cost, and it is the best way to truly increase your productivity on an ongoing basis.
What is productivity?
Productivity is the measure of the output of a process against the amount of effort required. In business terms, this can equate to a number of different things but it is commonly held to be the amount of work produced by employees for the amount of time put in, or the profits generated by a certain amount of expenditure. Put very simply, increasing productivity means increasing what comes out, without increasing what goes in.
Why is productivity important?
Productivity is a significant factor in the survival or demise of many businesses both large and small, and it is even considered important on a national economic scale. Low productivity can lead to decreased profits, unnecessary expenses and a general feeling of apathy among your employees. If you want your business to succeed, you need to make sure it is working as productively as possible – and to do that you need to innovate.
Where does innovation come into it?
Working harder at the same thing in the same way may increase your productivity to a certain extent, but there is only so much that you will be able to improve without some form of change or innovation. Pushing employees too hard can lead to lack of motivation, stress, fatigue and increased absenteeism, all of which can negatively affect your overall productivity and your business bottom line.
If you truly want to increase your productivity and help improve your business, the best approach to take is to find more efficient and innovative ways of increasing output rather than just putting more stress on existing systems. Innovation doesn’t have to be overwhelming or scary; it can start with a few small changes to help increase your business systems and then build from there.
Unsure where to start when it comes to increasing productivity? Perhaps you can focus on one area where you feel your business is not working as effectively as it might.
You or your staff may be able to find areas where you can be spending less for the same or better result. You might be able to find systems or procedures which are unnecessarily complicated or time consuming.
An outside view may also be able to help. A fresh mind of a friendly fellow business operator, or a professional innovator may see things in a different light. They will find it easier to ask “what are you trying to achieve here?”, and “is there a better, different way of going about it?”.
Why not try to come up with an innovative way to improve productivity in one area of your business and see where it leads?