Payroll is one of your highest expenses, if not the highest. Therefore, your employees should be your business's greatest asset. It is important to show your employees they are valued so you and your employees can operate the business together efficiently.
Your first step in maximizing workforce efficiency is hiring the right people. This means your interview process is very important. Take some time to plan interviews. Consider skill gaps that should be filled, but also look at character gaps. Would your operations benefit from having someone more optimistic or someone who is analytical? Ask questions that will help you understand the interviewee's work ethic and character, so you can make sure you are hiring positive, self-motivated, and hardworking individuals.
Employee training is another investment that will not go to waste if applied early and often. Hands-on training with examples and expectations will help new employees learn what they need to know for the job, but reminding them about important tasks and encouraging team communication will take your team’s effectiveness to the next level. For example, if you know that a certain employee handles a specific task well, ask her to share her knowledge with a new employee. Or have your new employee train with current employees based on what your current employees do well. This will bolster your current employees’ morale and set a strong standard for your new employee.
Encourage your team members to communicate and collaborate with one another. This can help avoid shirking of responsibility. For example, set up zones in the store that correlate with tasks, so employees are productive, yet still around to answer questions for customers in key areas. Employees should communicate who will be in what zone when, so there is adequate coverage and no overlap.
Team building through education and gamification can also increase your team’s effectiveness. Encouraging employees to share useful information with one another will help you have a better educated team. For instance, if you sell specialty foods, make sure your employees understand what those foods are and how they are different. Get them sharing information with each other, and then sharing that information with customers will become second nature. Adding an element of scoring, or recording successes, will further the excitement and lead to better team work.
When your employees and your business are operating efficiently, it can relieve pressure on your finances in two ways: by making your payroll dollars more effective, and by increasing profits.