We’re always told to work smarter, not harder but how do you actually achieve this? It can be frustrating trying to consistently motivate your team and ensure you meet tight targets, especially when you know you are capable of so much more. So, what can you do?
Coaching for business owners is a highly effective method to address this obstacle, providing you with proven strategies to improve employee efficiency and boost your organisation’s profits. In this blog post, we’ll be highlighting exactly how a coach can transform the way you operate, unlocking the potential of your business and why this is so important in today’s highly competitive market.
Defining productivity in the workplace
When an employee is productively working, they’ll be using the hours available to them wisely; producing more (efficiently) and achieving better results (effectively) in less time. Being productive is more than just getting stuff done, it’s about using the hours to benefit the company – aiding the overall company objectives rather than just ticking through and completing meaningless tasks.
The criteria you need to meet to be productive
There are three elements that see you achieve this famous work smarter, not harder style of working:
- QUALITY: finished results meet, or exceed expectations.
- QUANTITY: a reasonable number of tasks are completed, deadlines are met and no task is given too much time.
- EFFICIENCY: time is not wasted on low priority tasks, time and effort are used smartly.
Together these create overall productivity; simply put it sees an employee focusing on the right things at the right times. If your team is struggling it can be insensitive to just call on this well-known advice and ask them to be more productive, they may feel overworked and undervalued. Furthermore, there are several factors to consider, from employee wellbeing to external factors such as COVID-19. But, this is where coaching for business owners comes into play.
Coaches are an invaluable asset; with their expertise and knowledge, they can completely transform the way a business functions – allowing, ultimately, for an increase in profits and productivity. And, did you know, 84% of UK professionals now see coaching as a key component of every business’s management and development programmes? It’s clear to see that not only business owners understand the importance of coaching, but their employee’s too.
So, how exactly can a coach boost profits and improve productivity?
Coaching for business owners: 6 ways to boost your profits and improve productivity levels
#1 Measuring productivity
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly a business coach can ensure you are measuring your productivity correctly. Remember: if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. This is vital to optimise the operational running of your organisation whilst also allowing you to monitor employees, preventing the all too common burn-out.
Many business owners struggle to actually measure success, but a business coach may identify a new opportunity for measurement and base this on one of the following:
- The percentage of the goal achieved: setting a specific and measurable target (SMART) for a department or employee to calculate the percentage completed in a given period. However, this does not give you any indication of the quality.
- The number of tasks completed: measuring how many tasks have been completed in a given time period, but this again does not allow for quality assurance but could work for repetitive, production roles.
- Revenue per employee: you can calculate your company’s revenue per employee by dividing the total revenue by the total number of employees, allowing you to understand the overall productivity of your team.
- Labour productivity formula: productivity equals total output (total revenue) divided by total input (total hours)
- Activity levels: a smart way to track productivity in real-time, can give an indication of an employee struggling when monitored over time.
#2 Setting clear expectations and holding you accountable
Of course, to measure your progress you also need to be setting goals. But, setting the right goals is pivotal to your success. As a business owner, it can be difficult to narrow down exactly what you want your company to achieve – especially when it comes to thinking in terms of the short and long term.
A business coach will get to know you and your business, and by doing so be able to collaborate with you, ultimately identifying what your priorities and therefore goals are. Not only will these then be clearly defined, but a coach will keep you accountable. Whether it be a weekly, fortnightly or monthly catch-up session, coaching for business owners works because it motivates you to meet deadlines and keep you focused on the correct end goals.
#3 Avoiding micro-managing
Coaching for business owners can take away the stress which often leads to micro-managing. It may be something that goes unnoticed by yourself, but it is actually damaging your levels of productivity and employee morale drastically. Plus, you are unable to effectively do your own job as you spend some much time involved in everyone else’s, creating major bottlenecks within workloads. You may be a micro-manager if you:
- Need to proof and approve everything
- Always ask for updates
- Need to be cc’d into all emails
- Ask for minor changes on everything
- Don’t like delegating work
- Make all decisions, no matter the size
- You focus on how a task is completed rather than why
Having a business coach can force you to take a step back, freeing you up to concentrate on growing your organisation rather than nitpicking and potentially damaging the relationship with your employees. You can still be involved in the big decisions by setting boundaries, but you’ll be handing over trust which is crucial should you wish to really develop as a business owner.
#4 Improving training strategies for new and existing staff
Streamlining your training process is essential, but this should not only include your onboarding programme. When you work with a business coach, you’ll discover multiple areas of improvement and implement new training strategies to overcome previous obstacles but these new methods should also affect your existing staff.
It can be difficult scheduling in time to ensure you keep up to date with your employees but this will effectively allow you to monitor progress and guarantee everyone is working with the same end goals in mind. If you asked three of your employees what the objective of your business was now, would they all give the same answer?
Furthermore, by monitoring and having ongoing training, you’ll be able to find gaps within your employee’s skillset; perhaps you can offer training to develop their skills, or you can hire another individual with those weaknesses in mind. If an employee excels within this new development programme, you could also motivate your team further by providing incentives for top performers – again, boosting your productivity and profit levels.
#5 Creating a communication policy
We all know that communication is a key component of productivity, from collaboration to feedback it’s crucial you get the right answers when required. There are several different channels available that your organisation could utilise, but without accountability, it’s easy to slip back into old habits!
A business coach won’t do the work for you, but with their expertise and experience, they can assist with the implementation of the correct communication policy. They will have a variety of proven strategies for you to trail, able to advise and guide you with your decision. A communication policy will then provide your employees with the following expectations:
- When they’re expected to respond to messages
- What kind of communication is appropriate for each channel the team uses (email, slack, phone)
- Whether they need to provide status updates (and how often)
- When and where meetings take place (and what they look like)
#6 Providing honest feedback
Feedback allows for growth, but again you need someone to provide you with honest, constructive feedback for it to be beneficial and assist with your company’s development. An external coach will understand your organisation and goals but can give you an objective perspective that would otherwise be unavailable. A business coach will focus on providing feedback that is:
- Performance and behaviour based – providing specific guidance on how to improve your team’s overall productivity without involving any personal feelings that may otherwise cloud judgements
- On-time – will scheduled sessions, you’ll be given feedback when you need it rather than it being too late!
- Celebrate your achievements and keep you focused on the end goal – with honest, external feedback you can celebrate and feel proud when meeting a target And what’s more, your coach will keep you pointing in the right direction, making adjustments if required.
Coaching for business owners can guarantee success, as you are propelled forward and enhance your organisation’s functionality. We all want to work smarter, not harder but actually do so can be difficult should you not have the right practices or resources in place. Working with a knowledgeable guide can provide you with the right tools to truly transform your business, highlighting new opportunities you may have never even considered. Ultimately, as you develop and streamline your organisation you can not only improve productivity levels but boost your profit margins too. Seems amazingly simple right? But many still are not willing to work with a seasoned professional to do so!
Are you ready to make a change and increase your profits? Dedicated to you, I have over 30 years of experience as a seasoned business owner. With extensive knowledge and expertise, and with a proven track record of success to implement effective methods, I can help you reach your business goals today. Get in contact with me now at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete this contact form, and I’ll be happy to discuss how I can help you transform your organisation.