By Paul King, Founder of OddsMonkey, an end-to-end matched betting expert and software service that specialises in analysing odds and betting markets. From humble beginnings in 2011, the business has increased their user base by over 1,600% and their revenues by over 1,000%. Today, OddsMonkey turns over more than £1 million, thanks in part to their highly motivated team. Below, Paul shares some of the methods he’s learned along the way to improve workplace productivity as an entrepreneur.
For entrepreneurs, positively impacting the productivity of your workforce is no doubt high on your list of priorities. Motivated staff can help turn even a small business into a roaring success by consistently hitting targets and meeting deadlines, and if you’re constantly looking for opportunities to streamline your processes, you can improve the efficiency of your business even further. But, how exactly do you achieve this?
Even though it’s important, keeping productivity high can be one of the most difficult parts of running a business. Attempts to influence it can often have the opposite effect, and even measuring it can be tricky to do with accuracy. So, it’s important to take time to do your research, understand your business, and make sure you’re putting the right project plans in place.
Below, I’ll share just a few ways of boosting and measuring workplace productivity that have worked for me.
Provide a positive working environment
If you want your employees and team mates to perform to the best of their ability, you need to provide them with the right environment to do their jobs. Good work environments with the appropriate resources, tools, and systems in place can increase efficiency, as well as encourage personal growth and support goal attainment. This in turn motivates your workforce and increases loyalty, resulting in a hard-working team. So, it’s important to focus on creating comfortable workspaces, implementing health and wellbeing initiatives, and establishing a work culture that values each member of staff.
If you’re not sure where to start, you could try compiling and sending out anonymous questionnaires to your team asking what they’d like to see more of, what they enjoy most about work, and if there are any problem areas.
Set realistic deadlines
Long deadlines may appear less stressful because they’re further away in the distance, but the reality is that they can often seem looming and oppressive. It’s much better to break big projects down into a series of small, attainable goals and celebrate small successes along the way to keep your workforce motivated. With this approach, however, you need to be on the ball as there are more opportunities to fall behind. So, it’s important to track the progress of individual projects to make sure everything is being done when it should.
At OddsMonkey, we set up a Gantt chart and ‘work in progress’ list spreadsheets to stay on top of our project plans, with realistic deadlines that are pre-agreed by everyone on the team. This allows members at all levels to see and keep track of the work that goes into a project, as well as who’s involved at every stage.
Create a culture of collaboration and communication
Another way we keep productivity high is by striving towards a culture of positive accountability for work you’re involved with, and encouraging our staff to take ownership of tasks. We do this by working in ways that get everyone involved in a project and we expect everyone to share regular updates, like significant findings and developments, updating the team as a whole.
Working this way without being micromanaged allows productivity to flourish, but it also means everyone is responsible for their own time and allows freedom over their processes. This is effective as long as staff have a clear understanding of the expected output and their role in relation to the wider team.
Attempting to improve workplace productivity can be difficult, but these approaches have proven their effectiveness for us and could do the same for you. If you focus on improving your working environment, refining your approach to deadlines, and encouraging collaboration, you’re sure to notice a positive impact on your output.