Startups come in a variety of sizes, some with funding, others with the founder risking personal assets, and in every industry. Regardless of these factors management at startups should have a goal of creating a culture where productivity is valued. Motivating staff daily can be tough but there are other ways to increase productivity without delivering a daily pump up speech to employees early each day. Optimizing processes is the best way to increase daily output of work as is automation of tasks. This allows for staff to do more valuable work instead of things like data entry or other administrative tasks. The follow are ways to increase productivity at a startup whether you are a manager, founder, or CEO.
Set The Office Up To Foster Communication
The office can be set up in order to foster communication or thwart it. Cubicles divide people and make it more difficult to communicate freely with others. The most important thing to do is to seat those departments that frequently work together close to each other. This can help eliminate emails that could have been asked in person saving everyone time. Setting up interdepartmental teams can also help foster communication as certain departments might have limited contact with others. This personal rapport that will be built will make it easier to ask for help from the marketing or HR department.
Paint For Productivity
What many people do not realize is that the colors that the office is painted can impact productivity. Blue is known as the color that makes people most productive so the offices of sales, marketing, and production based departments should be painted this color. Yellow is said to illicit creativity so designers and other creative should have their area of the office painted yellow. Look into painters to help with the project as many house painters are willing to do projects for businesses as well. Small details like colors in the office impact more than you might think, use some trial and error to see which color optimizes productivity for your team!
Limit Email Checking
There is an epidemic of people checking their emails every 5 minutes thus breaking their concentration frequently. This can interrupt thought processes and it can be difficult to get back into that frame of mind immediately. The truth is that even “urgent” emails can be answered within an hour and nothing is going to happen. Clients will call a startup if something is really an emergency. Check emails once an hour and clear them to see how much time is saved on a daily basis. The same goes for smartphones as these should not be out during work hours as employees can check social media on their own time.
Free Coffee/Energy Drinks
The startup world can involve long hours with staff that are still quite young. Caffeinating the staff is a perk that employees will enjoy but caffeine at the right levels has been shown to increase productivity. There are those employees that might overindulge and excess caffeine can hurt productivity. Certain staff members might need a cup of coffee or two to get them going in the morning. Maximize productivity by having everyone wide awake due to the free caffeine offered by the company. If you find that employees are being too talkative when provided caffeine as them to limit their intake. One or two cups of coffee/energy drinks per day should be sufficient to keep everyone producing at a high level.
Providing A Healthy Lunch Daily
After lunch productivity can take a huge hit especially if some staff members are eating huge unhealthy meals. Providing lunch that is healthy daily will help the staff avoid that after lunch crash that is a staple of every office. Not only can it keep people from that tired feeling but it can also help in team building. Staff will eat together and converse about things in the office as well as share details of their personal lives. The fact that this will eliminate the number of people that tend to try to take absurdly long lunches with the hopes that nobody notices. Track the productivity in the office while these lunches are provided versus when they are not. You might find the uptick in productivity increases profits far more than the cost of the free lunches daily.
Try the above tactics to get your staff motivated and producing at a higher rate than ever before. Implement each of these changes one at a time to see which made the biggest difference. Every office is different so ask staff for productivity tips as well as they might enlighten you with a great idea!