Stay Connected
Blog Detail
  • 7 Ways Small Business Can Improve Productivity with Managed IT Services 

    February 10, 2023

    Small businesses face new challenges as the economic outlook remains uncertain. Rising prices, unstable supply chains, and tighter monetary policies translate into doing more with less. For a small business owner, a priority becomes finding ways to become more productive. 

    Improving employee productivity through managed service providers

    A recent article suggested the following seven ways to improve business efficiency:

    • Offer Training Programmes
    • Allow Flexible Work Schedules
    • Deploy Advanced Technology
    • Increase Employee Engagement
    • Hold Efficient Meetings
    • Vary Assignments
    • Set Realistic Goals

    Implementing these strategies means taking time and resources away from revenue-generating work that many small businesses do not have. To increase productivity, businesses need a way to put these strategies in place without compromising operations or lowering customer satisfaction.

    When companies think of managed service providers (MSPs), they see technology. They don’t see how IT support services boost small business productivity. However, a managed services provider can support these seven strategies. Let’s explore how.

    Offer More Effective Training

    Sitting in group training sessions is the least efficient training method. According to Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve, humans forget 50% of what they learn after 60 minutes and 70% within 24 hours. A week later, they’ve lost 90%. A more effective way is to use active learning strategies that present information to employees when they need it. 

    For example, employees need to process returns. If they have access to an online video or even a document, they can review the information and apply it immediately. Receiving information as they need it helps with retention and improves productivity

    If companies lack the technology to provide video or retrieve documents on demand, they can’t achieve the productivity that technology can deliver. A managed service provider can ensure that technology supports training demands. The service provider can also provide training or serve as a help desk for technology issues.

    Allow Flexible Work Schedules

    Replacing existing employees is not only costly. It’s also disruptive as remaining employees have to pick up the slack until a replacement is found. A recent study found that businesses pay about $23,000 in direct costs to attract new employees. 

    According to a 2022 Remote Work Report, 50% of hybrid and remote workers would quit if they had to return to the office full-time, and 61% of millennials would leave their current employer if remote work were not an option. The likelihood that a business will lose an employee because of inflexible work schedules is at least 50%.

    Offering a remote work schedule requires the appropriate technology and the necessary cybersecurity to ensure safe and reliable operations. Managed IT services providers have the expertise to construct a hybrid work environment to allow flexible work schedules.

    They can also provide cybersecurity tools to increase security measures. With 24/7/365 monitoring, IT support providers can help protect sensitive data. While MSPs are helping secure digital assets, they are also available to help employees with technical concerns no matter when they decide to work.

    Deploy Advanced Technology

    Productivity tools can increase employee efficiency. There are tools for time management, scheduling, and project management. Virtual meeting tools help team members stay in touch, as do communication and collaboration software. Team management solutions consolidate schedules, tasks, and documents in a central location. Chat or messaging apps let team members communicate in real-time. 

    While these tools help productivity, they also require resources to install and maintain the applications. Small businesses will need help assessing which tools work best with their existing infrastructure as well as deploying them.

    MSPs can help businesses select the right tools for their environment. They can install and maintain the solutions, so employees are free to work on revenue-generating tasks. Providers can apply application updates promptly to minimise potential vulnerabilities.

    MSPs help small businesses keep employees engaged

    Increase Employee Engagement

    If employees disengage from work, they become less productive. They start down the path of quiet quitting, meaning they do the minimum while at work. Deploying tools that encourage collaboration and communication are excellent ways to keep people engaged. 

    Providing growth opportunities lets employees know employers care, as do tools that help them be more efficient.  Effective team management solutions can build a positive work environment. Engaged employees are more productive as they realise their efforts have an impact.

    To be effective, engagement software needs an infrastructure that supports fast and reliable connectivity. MSPs can help ensure that small businesses have the network capacity to support engagement software. They can install and maintain the solution, making sure updates are applied after hours to reduce disruptions.

    Hold Efficient Meetings

    No one really likes meetings. They seem to go on forever, and little gets accomplished. Yet, meetings can be effective if they are managed efficiently. Software exists to help businesses create agendas, stay on task, record information, and share notes. Some solutions will allow managers to assign tasks from the meeting notes and send follow-up emails to ensure work stays on track.

    As companies invest in more technology to gain a competitive edge and retain employees, they become more dependent on technology. A one-person IT department can’t keep up as small businesses grow from a few desktops and a couple of software programs to 20 or 30 devices and an unknown number of programs.

    When programs fail, the disruption can cost a business hours of labour while the problem is addressed. Having an MSP as a technical resource helps keep hardware and software operating with minimal downtime. Employees remain productive, and the business thrives.

    Vary Work Assignments

    Doing the same task repeatedly can cause employees to disengage. They lose focus, and errors increase when they cannot vary their workday. Creating an environment where employees can move seamlessly from one application to another gives workers the flexibility they need to stay focused and productive.

    Varying work assignments not only improves productivity but allows employees to develop added skills. Combining on-demand training and productivity tools helps employees learn new workflows. Cross-training helps small businesses have qualified personnel for multiple positions. 

    With a technical partner, businesses can grow their internal capabilities through the careful deployment of advanced technologies. Instead of trying to keep up with technology, business owners can focus on growing their businesses.

    Realistic Goals

    When businesses set goals, they need to ensure they have the resources to achieve those objectives. Sometimes that means having the technology to support those goals. If a company’s infrastructure is not performing at the highest level, reaching goals may not be possible.

    For example, faster response times to improve customer service may require a faster network, streamlined workflows, and productivity tools. These factors all rely on technology know-how. If businesses don’t have the internal resources, they can look at external providers such as managed IT service providers for assistance. Nothing lowers morale faster than failing to meet goals because resources are unavailable.

    How Managed IT Support Services Boost Small Business Productivity

    Yes, managed IT support services can reduce costs, minimise downtime, and improve productivity with monitoring and maintenance of a business’ infrastructure. How that happens may not be as obvious when looking at daily operations. Yet, each of the recommended strategies to improve productivity benefits from a well-managed IT infrastructure.

    With tighter budgets and increased competition, small businesses can look to IT support services for help in boosting productivity. Instead of spending time trying to address technical issues, business owners can devote their time to growing their businesses. They can use their positive work environment as a competitive advantage to recruit and retain engaged staff.

    At TechSeek, we understand the challenges facing many businesses. That’s why we’ve designed a program to meet the specific needs of a small business. Contact us to discuss how we can help you improve your productivity.