Most small business owners believe that they pay their employees a fair wage, but is a “fair wage” enough? Why not go beyond the bare minimum and pay your employees better? If you are a small business owner reading this, then your answer is probably along the lines of “I would if I could, but I can’t!”
Whether it is due to the shoestring budget of your startup, narrow profit margins, or a combination of the two, not many aspiring business owners have an extra $2,000 – $10,000 into the annual company payroll.
But what if you did? It sounds too good to be true, but the path to paying your employees better is by finding ways to shore up productivity and cut costs in other places. You can either pay for inefficiencies or eliminate them and pass the savings onto your employees. The former has no benefit, whereas the latter helps to ensure your best employees not only stick around but maintain a genuine sense of loyalty to the business.
Here are various ways you can boost productivity and cut out inefficiencies, thereby justifying an increase in employee pay from a business point-of-view:
Optimize Your Workflow
Now is the time to get on board with software that is designed to improve productivity in small business settings. Reasonably priced workplace productivity tools reduce the amount of time necessary for your employees to spend touching base with each other via meetings and emails and more time on their work. Recent developments and up-to-date notes are made available to everyone in real-time via a cloud-based platform. This has the potential to greatly increase company output over time when compared to operations lacking a centralized portal of team communication.
Enforce Social Media Restrictions
Whether it is Facebook, Reddit, or a more obscure form of social media, these services are undoubtedly the largest time sink threatening your small business. Rather than impose browser monitoring or other strict rules that make employees unhappy, consider alternative solutions that provide employees with the flexibility to take a break from their work, but encourage them to maintain productivity. For example, you might endorse five-minute “phone breaks” every hour with the condition that your employees focus for the other fifty-five minutes. Use a WiFi filter to block time-sink sites across the work computers to discourage workarounds.
Miscellaneous Streamlining and Budget Cuts
Would your employees rather have free lunch on Friday or an extra $40 on their paycheck every other week? Is leaving the office lights on overnight necessary just because the windows overlook a busy intersection? Are customers in the waiting room really watching the cable television provided? Go around and chip away at the little things. Even when it is something meant for the employees, like the aforementioned Friday lunch on the company, they might prefer the extra cash instead. Let them vote and see how it goes.
If you want to keep talented employees and recruit even better talent to your company, then the payment has to be more than fair. Paying employees better might seem like a weak business decision at first glance, but not if it coincides with a boost in productivity and a reduction in wasteful spending. In fact, the very act of paying employees more will itself likely lead to increased productivity, as employees will be more motivated than ever before. Investing a little extra into your workforce can turn out to be one of the best decisions you ever make.