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Can't Afford the Downtime? Easy Steps to Maintain Employee Efficiency

Having experienced staff and skilled employees is very important for organizations in all types of industries. While having a large set of employees is very beneficial when you are busy and things are good, it can feel like a liability when you are going through a slow period. As opposed to laying off your staff during the downtimes, there are several ways that you can get through the slower periods while also making sure your staff is efficient.
Depending on the type of business that you run, one of the things that you could have your staff focus on is repairs and maintenance. When you are very busy, you likely do not have the time to dedicate to maintaining equipment that you need. However, during slower periods, you now have the time and manpower to get everything checked and prepared for the busier seasons. If you work with a lot of heavy machinery, have it checked and get the parts properly cleaned and lubricated. If you have a large motor, then gearbox repairs and maintenance will make sure that it’s ready to perform at optimal speeds later on. If you work with a lot of product, make sure that you’re fully stocked with all-new materials and get rid of anything that may be expired or damaged. Doing this will save you a lot of time later on and prevent hiccups in the future that could cause costly downtime.
Another thing that you could do to keep your employees busy during a slow time is have them strategize to develop the future of the company. Many organizations that are busy do not have the time to dedicate towards research and innovation. However, when things are slow you could have more of your staff dedicate their time to coming up with good ideas for the future of the business. Dedicate teams to doing intensive research on the latest technologies, the most effective business practices, and the most innovative marketing techniques that can give your business an edge in the competitive market.
Give Time Off
If your employees are not busy while at work, you could also consider giving them more time off. Your employees likely have paid time off and vacation time that they can use. While you may not be able to require it, you could request that they take some of it during the slow periods. You could also consider scaling back hours for those that are willing to do so. Of course, this should be done after you have already explored other avenues, as not all employees can afford to miss out on work and you want to make sure that proper maintenance and development is taking place.
Education and Training 
When you are slow at work, you should also consider spending the time by investing in your staff. One of the best things that you could do is prepare staff to be more effective once everything picks up. One great way to do this would be by having a full training and education program in place. Make sure everyone is aware of all of the necessary rules, practices, and guidelines that are in place and that they know who to ask when questions arise. Training can sometimes be rushed and surface-level when you’re hiring in busy periods, so taking the time to slow down and make sure that everyone really understands all of the aspects of their job, and the tools at their disposal, will make things go much more smoothly going forward.
Ultimately, keeping your staff effective and engaged is very important. While it can be expensive while times are slow, these breaks are actually a chance to step back, take stock, and prepare your company to weather through the busier times. If you don’t take advantage of these moments of downtime, not only will you lose money, but you’ll lose productivity in the future.

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