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Running like clockwork:
(Definition) Everything happens exactly as planned, without any trouble or interruptions.
Hmm… how many of us have that luxury in our business lives? There is always something guaranteed to interfere with our day; those proverbial spanners in the works that prevent our plans from succeeding. You know it, and we know it, because being honest, how many times have you struggled to get work done because of an unforeseen problem?
Let’s have a look at two of those things that could stop your business running like clockwork then, with a few suggestions to alleviate those pesky spanners getting in the way of your otherwise well-oiled machine!
No matter what business you are involved in, we can almost guarantee that you use some kind of technology. It could be something as (relatively) simple as a computer and printer if you work at home, or a piece of machinery if you work within any kind of manufacturing industry. Whatever the case, when your tech works as it should, everything is fine and rosy. But when something goes wrong; when your computer blanks out or your machinery wheezes to a halt, then your business day will suffer as a consequence.
So, what should you do?
Well, it depends on your industry, but using the examples we gave above, you can take measures to manage potential faults. Computers have diagnostic tools, so you should run them occasionally to check for and fix any faults. And you can detect problems on certain types of machinery too with high-tech vibration monitoring devices, so you should be able to take steps to reduce any major issues early. But whatever tech you use, ensure you use the tools available to you to preempt any major issues. Getting your equipment serviced regularly is a must too, and when buying something new, consider spending a bit more on newer technologies that are going to last, rather than on something cheap and/or second-hand that might cause you more expense with hidden issues down the line.
#2: Your employees
Your employees should help your business run like clockwork, but this isn’t always the case. Their productivity and efficiency might take a hit if they are lazy, negligent, or exhausted from the pressures on them in your workplace. As a result, your business will suffer because your employees, the proverbial cogs in your machine, will be ineffective.
So, what should you do?
For starters, try to avoid firing them, as the last thing you need is one less person to help you run your business. And besides, unless an employee is guilty of gross misconduct, you might not have many grounds too anyway, so it’s best to avoid a legal claim from a grieved employee.
Where laziness is an issue, you need to confront the employee and have a conversation. It might be that they aren’t lazy at all; they might be struggling to know or do what is expected of them, so you might be able to point them in the right direction with guidance and training. But if they are lazy, then a warning might suffice, as well as a discussion related to your workplace policies to remind them of their duties. The same is true of negligent employees, those people who don’t pay attention to what they should be doing, or who behave inappropriately. Extra training and a kick up the backside might be in order, dependant on the circumstance. And when it comes to exhausted employees, well…perhaps it’s time you gave them a break. Ensure they don’t have to work overtime too often by finding ways to improve efficiency, and outsource some of your tasks so your employees don’t have to do more than should be expected of them.
Your business day won’t always go as planned, but you can take steps to prevent too many problems. While we have discussed technology and your employees within this article, there may be other factors that spoil your day. Think about what they might be, and then commit to further research to take steps to ensure that your business doesn’t grind to a halt as a consequence of them.