According to research performed by the Executive Guidance from the CEB employers are looking to increase productivity in their employees by an additional 20% if they are to reach the goals of the business. However, out of those questioned more than two thirds of the employees said that they were already pushed to their limits with 55% saying they were already too stressed from their current workload.
This puts businesses in a difficult position especially if they are unable to take on new employees over the next year. How can the goals be achieved when more effort is required and the staff are unable to give any more effort? This is a common problem faced by small businesses and it needs to be addressed.
Developing employees skills
The CEB say that the answer is to work on developing the skills of your employees. There are three trends affecting the business world today and these are:
• Changing the organisation of the business which is most often caused by having to downsize or coping with the financial difficulties caused by the global recession.
• Increasing team based work and cross functions/departmental work. Often the teams are not located together and can be dispersed over wide geographical areas.
• A move away from routine work, more information being freely available and a demand in knowledge based work such as information technology.
These challenges need to be addressed and therefore you need to develop the skills of your current workforce to help your business reach the goals. There are 9 areas where your employees need to be skilled:
• Team work
• Organisation abilities
• Problem solving
• Being self-aware
• Being proactive
• Being influential
• Learning agility
• Technologically minded
Developing the skills
If you are ready to get more productivity from your current workforce you will need to ensure that each one has these ten skills. It is down to you to develop these skills and you can do this in three ways. The first of which is by teaching them how to respond to change. Provide work that includes challenges and learning within the tasks. The aim is to increase their abilities to prioritise and anticipate different levels of change. Review each project once it has been completed and find ways to stretch each individual.
Encourage all of your employees to collaborate together through different procedures and by integrating the workflows between departments or individuals. Give clear direction on how each person plays a part in the collaboration and make it clear what you expect from each person.
You will also need to provide collaboration tools such as project management software. Spend time developing the teams and work to increase your networks. If you find a natural collaborator use their skills to help develop the internal network.
Knowledge is power and you must provide the opportunities for your employees to gain knowledge. Give them access to technology, training and education. Pick excellent courses in many different areas such as the Illumine speed reading course, problem solving and mind mapping.
About the Author:
Grant is a freelance writer working full time producing articles and stories for websites and blogs. He mainly writes about start-ups and small business but he also enjoys writing about technology and gadgets. You can find more of his work online, as thousands of his articles have been published on the internet over the last five years.