Most managers understand that a happy team is a productive team and know that creating the right environment to attract and keep the right people isn’t complicated.
However, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is calling for managers to look for ways to improve their recruitment and retention practices without spending any money.
Keeping a united workforce is certainly a challenge, but many simple changes can be made that won’t cost. SmallBusiness.co.uk and the CIPD have the following tips to help you make improvements.
Where should you start?
Menial tasks are rarely analysed to ensure they are efficient. So, it could be useful to give the most junior team member responsibility for re-engineering your simpler procedures – it could save you time and money in the long run.
Forms are a really useful tool to help people in the office be organised, but an abundance can be a real enemy of productivity. Have a look at the older ones to find out whether they are still needed. Rewrite them if you can and produce them electronically so they can be accessed and printed when required and are easy to keep up to date.
Providing computer training
People need to know how to use computing software effectively. They could work much more efficiently if they knew what their computers were capable of, so it might be worth investing in training sessions. Many training providers offer discounts for on site sessions if you provide your own computers.
Changes to office procedures can be difficult for some staff members to accept, especially when technology is involved. In this situation it is important to manage a process of change slowly to allow the team to gain confidence in their new ways of working.
Once you have decided how your office should be improved, your team members must have self-confidence to be able to adapt. It is important for the manager to understand each person’s way of learning. Some prefer to learn every aspect of a new system before starting to use it. Others may like to get started straight away and learn as they go along.
It is easy for someone in the office to feel swamped with work, so open discussion is a necessity. Perhaps tasks could be redistributed among team members according to their own strengths. Using each member’s abilities to the team’s advantage is especially important for finding ways of improving efficiency.
Spend time with team members to ensure they are working to their potential. It can be difficult for the manager to put time aside for this but the long-term benefits will outweigh the short-term cost.
A survey by the CIPD showed that 42 per cent of staff don’t feel they are kept up to date with what is going on in their organisation. A very simple way to overcome this is to keep the organisation’s intranet working and updated with news.
Maintaining communication among team members and keeping them informed about company developments shows that managers are taking an interest in the organisation and are acknowledging the input of all team members.
Encouraging employees to express their views on business activities or to offer ideas for best practice are both ways to ensure a happy workforce.