Anyone who has had the courage to start and run a small business knows there are many potential pitfalls, not just in the start-up process when you need to make sure your planning is as foolproof as possible, but when you’re up and running. That means you need your business to be as productive as possible so you and your workforce can enjoy the benefits of a well-run organisation.
Put simply, productivity is the measure of how efficient a person, a system, a machine, a factory or other relevant part of the business is at converting what is put in to what comes out – inputs and outputs. It’s calculated by dividing the average output over a specific period by the total resources and costs incurred during that period. This takes in energy, personnel, materials and capital costs and means that productivity can be measured and, if there appear to be problems, these can be addressed rather than leaving them to create further and more serious problems down the line.
It’s likely that before you started your own business you will have worked for other people. If so, you are bound to have an understanding of what good managers do. They encourage their staff, they listen to them and work to understand their skills and needs so they can be helped to both enjoy and be focused on the work they do. It’s an important way to improve productivity. No one at work will be happy all the time – there are life events outside that may affect an employee’s well being – but trust and openness can go a long way to providing a productive working environment.
You can set rules for access to social media, for example, but often if employees are trusted not to exploit their access, they will feel happier to put their efforts into being as productive as possible. People don’t like to be bored at work, but you do need to watch out for warning signs that there may be problems that you are not sure how to deal with initially.
There are times when some people find the stress of their working and personal lives difficult to manage. They may have health issues that make it difficult to concentrate well, often because of the worry that is entailed; if they have other problems, they may turn to the abuse of alcohol or drugs.
A simple oral lab fluid test from an experienced drugs test provider could save you from many complications in the future and help you to provide support as someone recognises their own problem and works to overcome it.
Substance abuse can be dangerous, not only for the individual – it can also have a major effect on the safety of co-workers. Setting up a drugs testing programme in your business – it’s now commonplace for many employers – gives you the opportunity to identify potential problems and help anyone who has those problems.