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Improve Productivity Without Hiring More Staff

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Business Advice

Great sports teams win with great athletes, and great companies are built on great people. Fortunately, with today’s modern technologies, you don’t need to hire more staff to improve productivity, consistency and efficiency. But you do need to implement the right strategies. The following techniques will enable you to accomplish more with less people.  

Communicate better

Sharpening productivity is not about how many people you have – it’s about how you manage your people. At the heart of better management lies good communication.

Clearly explain and discuss your expectations, as well as their responsibilities, with your employees and keep the communication lines open. You may be busy, but it’s better to have your workers come to you – or their supervisor – with questions and concerns, rather than keeping issues or uncertainties to themselves and allowing a problem to intensify.  

And just as it’s important for you to communicate with your staff, it’s also vital that your employees understand how to communicate more effectively amongst each other. It’s especially important for your foremen – who act as middlemen between you and your crews – to know how to effectively communicate. Good communication amongst your team will reduce the occurrence of every day errors due to simple misunderstandings and it will shorten the amount of time it takes to complete a task.

Ensure the employees you do have are versatile

You’ll save time and money and boost productivity if you leverage your staff to do more. A versatile staff understands how the whole process of completing a job works – they understand the roles and responsibilities of different departments and they have the skills to successfully take on different responsibilities.

Use equipment/technology to streamline manual labor

When paired with the right equipment and the right machines, your field labors can work that much more productively and, therefore, the amount of skilled labor you need and the amount of labor expenses you have is drastically scaled down. Similarly, when your office staff is paired with the proper technology (think computer software, such as LMN’s web-based budgeting and estimating software, and electronic gadgets like fleet tracking phone apps and GPS systems) their productivity levels increase.

For more detailed information on this subject, refer to these posts:

How Technology should be Used to Save on Labor Costs

How Communication Technology is Changing Business

Implement defined systems and procedures

At the landscape management network, we talk a lot about the benefits of standardized systems for building a more efficient and profitable business. One of the keys to business success as a landscape business owner is the smart use and management of your time by leveraging your resources to do more for you, without all the additional effort. This frees you up to do more for your business to help it grow stronger and more profitable.

Implement systems for your company’s everyday work procedures and tasks and ensure your staff understands ‘the way things are done.’

Most businesses take years to develop the proper, seamless business systems that can make your operation a lean, mean efficient money-making machine. As an LMN Member, our robust Systems Library is just a click away and can help you shave years off the curve of learning and streamlining all these processes on your own. Read more about our Systems Library here.

Outsource/sub-contract more work

Not only do you gain access to specialized skills and services, but you can maximize your revenue, while minimizing your expenses, if you outsource your work wisely. Sometimes handling certain tasks “in-house” is just too costly – it requires weeks of finding, hiring, and training the right people. Outsourcing the work to another business that has the resources already in place can be a huge cost and time-saving advantage for you.

Set team standards and goals

After clearly communicating with your team and ensuring everyone understands their role within your company, get everyone together to establish team standards and goals to which everyone will commit.

Standards are the expectations everyone will try to meet.

Goals are the individual objectives everyone will have for their projects or individual roles. Goals are generally defined as more of a personal commitment.  

Focus on the important things

Make sure your staff understands the difference between urgent and ‘can wait until later’ tasks.

Recognize, reward and celebrate accomplishments

When your employees feel valued, empowered and supported, they’re motivated to work harder and to do more. Keep the workplace environment positive, show your employees that you value them, delegate more responsibility and celebrate a job well done.

Landscape Management Network is a collection of systems, tools, and training to help great contractors build and manage great businesses. Visit the LMN website.

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