Top tips: Boosting productivity without breaking the bank

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Business communication specialists McMahon Dods on how to boost productivity and be cost-efficient in the current business climate

What can I do to get the skills needed to boost productivity?

Chances are, like a lot of other businesses in Australasia, you are faced with a dearth of the right skills and talent needed to improve productivity. And "making do" with what is around will lower productivity and shouldn't be an acceptable employment culture. If you want to be successful, incorporate flexibility into your employment policies and change the way you view and manage your human resources. This will mean using a mixture of permanent, part-time, flexible or external resources.

How can I achieve immediate efficiency gains in my operations?

Do what you do well - managing the core business or focusing on strategy, and delegate the rest. Core business activities should be aligned with the right skills in your team to maximise the impact on business performance. Identify any skill gaps in your team that are impeding productivity - get some quality, cost-effective external help before inefficiencies reign.

What about how to improve productivity?

Quantify the cost of time you spend on non-core business activities and compare it with the cost of outsourcing them to a specialist.

How could I reduce the time taken to write a good report?

Choose a simple report structure. Separate writing and editing. Do not try to do both simultaneously - this will increase writing time overall. Once you have finished, leave it overnight and re-read it the next day. A refreshed perspective will assist with fine-tuning.

What can a business do to bridge the leadership gap that is a significant hurdle to productivity?

Consider the effective use and development of existing leaders in your team - don't have them being all things to all people. Use variable resources where necessary to allow existing leaders to lead and innovate.
What else can be done to lift New Zealand out of its low-productivity, low-income position?

Big-picture issues, such as lost productivity due to motorway travel and broadband speed, need to be near the top of the agenda if companies are to help the average New Zealander achieve a better standard of living.

- Herald on Sunday

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