For a profitable business, your income has to be greater than your expenses. While it is critical to work to increase your income, it is also important to find ways to streamline your costs. Waste in the workplace is often a silent expense. Yet, those lost minutes or unnecessary expenses add up over time, eating into your profits.
When you hire a new employee, there are many upfront costs. It takes some time and training before you receive the full benefit of that new person. If that employee requires more training than you expected or doesn’t have the right skillset, the cost of bringing him or her up to speed can become wasteful. Consider using skills tests and strong behavioral interview questions to make certain that new candidates are honest about their skill levels.
It is also important to find people with the right personality for your workplace. If you are in a market space that promotes creative thinking, someone who spends time doing some daydreaming may be an asset. If you are in manufacturing, that same person will cost you money in lost time and slowed production.
When an unusable product rolls off your assembly line, you are looking at waste in the manufacturing process. Employees may have to spend time disassembling the item or simply throw it away. It’s not enough to check for quality once a product is complete; you need to adopt a process that prioritizes catching mistakes early on.
Some managers will periodically walk through the entire manufacturing process looking for wasted motion and stations with the highest possibility of mistakes. By getting feedback from employees, they are able to improve each step. After revamping the process, they will walk the line again looking for new issues. Over time, the process improves, increasing manufacturing rates and minimizing waste.
Schedule for Productivity
Many businesses still base their workday on an eight-hour period with a few breaks along the way. More recently, businesses have discovered the power of more flexible schedules. The traditional, nine-to-five model produces a productive morning with decreasing productivity through the afternoon.
By breaking up the day in different ways, it is possible to have a more constant level of productivity throughout the day. For example, the period after lunch is often a time of low energy. Encouraging your employees to use half an hour of that time for creative projects or continuing education can set up higher productivity for the rest of the afternoon.
Removing waste from your business is a constant process and there is no one-size-fits-all method. As workplace dynamics change, you will have to constantly reassess the systems you’ve put in place. However, by paying attention to waste, you are increasing the profit margins for your business.
Sometimes you need a bit of guidance to understand what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to increasing productivity. Consider enrolling in our Coaching Program to enhance your leadership skills as a business owner.