Low-value work means that it is necessary, but probably should be done by the person doing it. For low-value work, you are likely paying someone a nice salary to do something you should be having a lesser-paid employee to do. Some examples of low-value work are: General administrative tasks (e.g. setting up the office, getting supplies, etc.), Writing content (unless you’re a writer or blogger); Filing paperwork; Entering in data; Putting together reports. Can these be done by an administrative assistant or even better, can these be done by a part-time worker? Many people balk at the thought of hiring people to do these things, but the fact is that there are many people who would jump at the chance to work only part-time and if these tasks are not time-sensitive, then they're ideal for a part-timer.
The real problem for businesses today is the true wasted time work. And to be clear, I'm not referring to time socializing at the "water-cooler", but actual WORK that doesn't need to be done. Have you implemented a system that automates some tasks, but you still have people do it the old way "just in case", even though the system went into place 2 years ago? Or do you enter data into one system when you know the same data is already in another system? These are just some examples.
Most companies are rife with opportunities to streamline operations in small, simple ways that accomplish two things:
- They eliminate work that helps relieve the workload of employees;
- They save money
That's right folks. Every time you stop doing something you were doing before, you are essentially saving money! Let's use the data-entry example from above - it is a real-life example from a few years ago. I had data entry clerks who took handwritten applications and entered them into a database. The names on those applications also needed to be on a sign-in sheet. The average number of names each week was 100 names. It took two data-entry clerks a few days to enter all of the information on those applications and the better part of a day to retype the names for the sign-in sheet. Let's be generous and say it took one person 4 hours to retype those names. That's 200 hours a year they could have been doing something else. Why did they retype those names? Because nobody gave them a better way. In this case, it was a report from the system they were typing the applications into! Total time to create the report AND the interface for the report? Four hours - once. A few more minor changes involving these same people, and we were able to save almost 12 hours per week for these people. Now they can catch up and do other things they should have been doing but didn't have the time for. There is a word for that - OVERWORKED!
Companies all have things they do like this where simple changes to systems or methods can mean a dramatic improvement. Can you find them on your own? Sometimes, but often, you're too close to see the forest through the trees. One way is to ask your employees. They'll tell you! But even then, many are often stuck in the "that's the way we've always done it" state of mind.
The solution? Bring in a business consultant who can help you analyze your business operations and guide you on the best changes to make. As business consultants and coaches, we not only are good at spotting inefficiencies, but can also advise you on things like implementing mobile technology or changes to systems that can make life easier for everyone.
And when life is easier, everyone is happy. Call us today to schedule a consultation.