Every small-business owner wants to see their company grow, but growth must be sustainable. And sustainability goes beyond financials – it also means prioritizing your employees’ well-being.
Grow too slowly and the lack of momentum can hurt company morale. But growing too quickly often means sacrificing days off and time with family and friends in order to keep up, which can leave you and your employees feeling burned out.
Neither is good for productivity. In fact, 39% of workers say they’d be willing to work harder if they were happy in their current role or place of work.
So, what’s the trick to keeping your employees satisfied and your business prosperous?
It’s all about finding the perfect balance
Take RXBAR, a whole-food protein bar company, for example.
When a surge in demand for natural foods spurred sudden, rapid growth for the company, Vice President of Finance and Global Controller Kelsey Letizia worried that the current systems and processes would be unable to keep pace with that growth.
With more employees traveling to meet with clients and partners, expense reports came flooding in. Kelsey and her team were spending extra hours compiling and reviewing what was being submitted. That’s when she began searching for a more scalable approach.
“I just knew that at that rate, we’d spend all our time on these non-value-add asks,” said Kelsey. “It left little room for more strategic endeavors such as evaluating new markets, investment opportunities and continuing to scale the business.”
Fortunately, by automating its expense process, RXBAR gained the insight and flexibility it needed to make fast, data-driven decisions – and Kelsey got more freedom to enjoy time with her family.
Automation leads to greater efficiency and employee well-being
With the advancement of cloud technology, automating business processes has become more cost efficient and easier to implement than ever. As a result, businesses of all sizes now have access tools that were previously reserved for large corporations.
Now, let’s talk about how automation can benefit your business.
The first step is to identify the areas where there is room for optimization. If you’re currently doing something manually, chances are there’s an automated solution that can help you improve efficiency.
For example, automation can cut time spent on invoice management by almost two-thirds, which means your staff will have more time to think critically. Plus, the added real-time visibility into cash flow means they’ll be better equipped to provide insight and expertise when it’s time to make strategic decisions.
And then there’s the human-error factor to consider – or in this case, the lack thereof. Many automated solutions can prevent fraudulent or duplicate payments by detecting anomalies in invoices and expense reports.
But streamlining your processes isn’t just a boon to your business. It’s a path to the well-being of your employees.
According to Gallup, 70% of employees lack engagement at work to due to dissatisfaction – a trend that’s estimated to cost $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year.
By giving workers an opportunity to focus their attention on more essential activities, you help them gain a greater sense of purpose, accomplishment, and satisfaction. And the hours employees save at work provides them with ample time to enrich their personal lives.
Increasing happiness is the secret to productivity
Know that old cliché about working smarter instead of harder? Well, when it comes to sustainable growth, working happier is the real secret.
It should be no surprise that happier employees are more engaged, passionate, and productive – especially when their most tedious tasks are simplified.
So, next time one of your employees expresses dissatisfaction with a laborious part of their job, listen. Chances are, the solution you need is already out there.
For more tips on how you and your staff can achieve balance and spur sustainable growth, check out this e-book.