Maybe you’ve been in this situation: Business is good. Real good. In fact, it’s altogether too good: your company is on the cusp of growth (or has already launched into it), but your new profits are not yet great enough to justify a new employee.
Whether or not you’ve been (or are) in this situation, your organization can see immediate and long-term benefits by implementing tools and processes to increase productivity. These gains can give you the bandwidth to undertake additional work or projects, perhaps ones you’ve been putting off. “But it will COST me money as my team tackles the learning curve of those new tools and processes,” you say.
Fair enough. Let’s go through the data, then, about how increased productivity is related to company growth, cost savings, and engaged employees. Then you decide if you can afford to not invest in a new productivity tool for your team.
Most people want their companies to grow, but not everyone knows where to start. Should you advertise more? Introduce new products? Maybe. But why invest more capital when you might have everything you need to move forward? Productivity tools allow you to leverage your existing resources and do more with what you already have.
Manage your manpower.
You think you need to hire more employees? Think again. According to NPR reporter Yuki Noguchi, “Worker pay is the most expensive line item in the budget for most businesses, which means billions of dollars are going to waste.”
Why? According to Joe Hruska, CEO of RescueTime, a software that allows users to see where they’re spending their computer time, an employee who works an eight-hour day is productive for perhaps five of those hours.
The key to getting the manpower you need is to make more of those eight hours—that you’re already paying for—productive. Utilizing tools that streamline work can do just that. Procorem reduces common work interruptions, such as hunting for a lost email or document, determining how and when a project got off track, etc.
Responsiveness can take many forms: you must be responsive to customers, to trends, to new product demands, and more. As Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
Manage change effectively with smart business process management tools, like Procorem, that streamline your internal processes. With real-time alerts, email integration, and a mobile platform that’s based in the cloud, your projects will maintain momentum until they’re complete. Your team can contribute even when traveling for business, and stay in the loop when not in the office. When opportunities or problems arise, they can be addressed immediately. This means you’ll be able to identify trends quickly, roll out products faster, and communicate with customers better than ever before.
Use “dead time.”
According to Steven Woodgate, another way to increase your current manpower is to give employees a way to use “dead time:”
Very often, workers find themselves away from the office or their normal workstation—whether away at meetings, travelling between sites or at home.
By finding ways to support productive work during this ‘dead’ time, businesses can ensure more gets done and output increases.
The use of mobile technology solutions—such as smartphones and media tablets—can help in this respect, by guaranteeing workers are never more than a few clicks away from important files and documents.
A mobile tool like Procorem is device-agnostic, meaning that it will work perfectly no matter what your staff is accessing it from. This is especially important as BYOD policies become more common. Your employees will be able to salvage “dead time” and get more done.
Making your employees more productive contributes to growth, but it also contributes to potential cost savings.
The true cost of a new employee is not the salary you offer. According to Joe Hadzima, a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, the average employee costs much more. He says, “The costs to this point (basic salary, employment taxes and benefits) are typically in the 1.25 to 1.4 times base salary range—e.g., the cost range for a $50,000 per year employee might be $62,500 to $70,000.”
Save on staffing.
That’s a lot of money to spend. What if, instead, you were able to up the productivity of five current employees by one hour each per day? It’s an achievable goal—by utilizing Procorem, you could easily cut out an hour per day of time that would normally be wasted in emails or waiting for colleagues to weigh in on projects. That would be an extra 1,820 hours per year you could utilize—almost as many hours as a new employee would contribute per year. Assuming each employee makes a yearly salary of $50,000 (which ends up equaling $24.04 per hour), the annual cost savings to your company would be just over $43,750. And that doesn’t factor in the employment taxes and benefits you wouldn’t have to spend.
Sometimes additional staffing is necessary, but even then you can make the most of every hire with a tool like Procorem. It allows a new employee (or contractor) to easily access information and contribute where he or she is needed—whether that’s 40 hours a week in your HR department, or split up in chunks between multiple departments that have staffing needs that don’t require a full-time employee. Paying one full-time employee instead of three allows you to get more accomplished with a smaller investment.
Save by standardizing.
Organizations are comprised not only of people, but of processes. They range from onboarding new employees to taking and filling customer orders. When you standardize the processes and tools used throughout the entire organization, staff members who work across departments don’t have to spend hours in training for department-specific methods and tools. Procorem’s user interface is designed to be intuitive and support all devices, so the low learning curve means teams can adopt it quickly and easily—no need for training.
If you can have such large cost savings with so little effort, think how much greater the impact would be if you were able to implement a smart business process management tool to streamline core business processes across the entire company.
By some estimates, the first six months of an employee’s first year are spent in training and getting up to speed. With the high cost of hiring and training a new employee, you don’t want to lose your talent. You want them to be engaged, so they stick around and keep doing good work.
What’s great about keeping employees happy (and around) is that it also leads to productivity. When Thomas A. Wright, Russell Cropanzano, and Douglas G. Bonett polled 109 managers, who collectively managed more than 5,000 people, they asked about the job satisfaction and job performance ratings of each employee. In the paper they published in the April 2007 issue of Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, they showed performance was highest when employees reported being happy, both at work and in general.
Those results were far from unique. Gallup conducted its eighth employee engagement assessment in 2012, which analyzed 263 research studies across 192 organizations. Forty-nine industries and 34 countries were represented. Susan Sorenson, a Gallup writer, summarized their findings, saying, “This eight iteration […] further confirmed the well-established connection between employee engagement and […] performance outcomes.”
That doesn’t mean every employee who wants to stick around is engaged, though. Sorenson goes on to quote Dr. Jim Harter, who conducted the Gallup assessment:
“When you ask people about their intentions during a recession, it’s pretty clear that disengaged workers are just waiting around to see what happens,” says [Dr. Jim] Harter. “Engaged workers, though, have bought into what the organization is about and are trying to make a difference. This is why they’re usually the most productive workers.”
Ensuring employees are happy and engaged, then, is an effective way to keep productivity high. Even better? It creates a cycle that benefits the company—because people who feel productive are happier and more motivated to tackle something new.
So should you consider productivity a priority?
You don’t have to make changes to increase your productivity. Not everyone likes getting more done, bringing in money, or generating happiness (see: the Grinch, Oscar the Grouch, Grumpy Cat). But if your company likes one or all of those things, sign up for Procorem today and see how it could help you achieve them.