Doing more with the same – work planning –work efficiencies
In most companies there comes a point when if you want to grow, you recognise that you have to bring in more resource. But when do you reach that point?
It’s very common to hear complaints about high volumes of work. But as the team leader, how do you know whether you need more people, or whether the team could be working more efficiently?
Start by understanding how your team spends its time. Ask them the following:
- What are the key activities each person performs as their primary job responsibilities
- How much time in a given week does each person spend on these key activities
- What types of activities are above and beyond core job functions or special projects
Once you’ve collected this information, you can explore the areas on which the team is spending the most amount of time. To resolve any overload issues you will need to identify opportunities to eliminate work, reduce workload, or improve productivity by working closely with your team.
Are you wasting time doing work that is now redundant?
When a business is under pressure and growing fast, it is often not the first priority to really take a step back and understand if all efforts are truly being focused on driving current business priorities. But you need to make this assessment as an initial step.
What can you do to streamline the work or reduce the volume of tasks being carried out?
An ongoing management challenge is working out how to minimise the amount of time employees spend on low-value tasks, i.e. the repetitive tasks that have to be done, but often seem to take up an inordinate amount of time. It’s not possible to eliminate all these tasks, but by probing into the details of existing processes, you can challenge the status quo and help simplify processes that reduce these tasks.
What can you do to complete the work faster?
The biggest productivity improvements are often a result of automating groups of tasks. When automation is coupled with process changes, the resulting impact can be substantial.
Most people are usually doing their best. Doing more with less may sound challenging, especially when business is growing and the bar for customer expectations is rising. To create more time in people’s schedules, managers need to engage with their teams to deeply understand daily operations. This will allow teams to scale the business and meet growing customer expectations by doing more with less. And if the three steps above aren’t working, managers may need to admit that it’s time to recruit more people.
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Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this blog, nothing herein should be construed as giving advice and no responsibility will be taken for inaccuracies or errors.
Copyright © 2018 all rights reserved. You may copy or distribute this blog as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author are attached. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.