I attended a Supporters’ Network Event for the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter a couple of weeks ago. It was a great meeting with a really interesting and informative talk delivered by Stewart Lucas from Manchester Mind.
As many of you know, I feel quite strongly about workplace wellbeing and have blogged in the past about how we should be aiming to remove the causes of workplace stress instead of just treating the symptoms. During the course of the Supporters’ Network Event, someone made the comment: businesses manage money, but do they manage time? This really struck a chord with me.
There is a lot of focus on individual’s managing time (as can be evidenced by the number of books and courses on Time Management that are available) but how big a consideration is it for businesses when they are considering overall operations and the bigger picture? Is it time we made time the biggest focus instead of budget, costs and profits? I have a theory that if we did that, not just the bottom line would benefit – employees would be happier too. Queue blurry screen as we fade to a story…….
A Tale of Two Workers
Once upon a time, in an SME not too far from here, there were two workers. One of these workers was actually the Boss. He had founded the company some years prior and was pleased with the year on year growth the company had enjoyed. The other Worker was a member of the growing admin team that the Boss had employed. Worker had been with the company for 3 years and had experienced many changes as the company had grown and the Boss had implemented processes and systems.
One day, the Boss was talking to one of his customers who suggested it would be a really great idea if Customer could access a particular report at any time, without having to ask for it to be emailed over to her. That set Boss off thinking how it might be good to be able to do that and then Customer would be less likely to take her business elsewhere.
Boss spoke to Worker about how that particular report was generated and where the information came from and then went off to see Software Developer.
Worker knew that this report took 30 minutes to create and that it was done every day so that it was ready when Customer requested it. It was rarely up to date when it was sent as it was a manual process, cutting and pasting from different spreadsheets and resources to collate the information. Worker found this report frustrating and time consuming. It stopped Worker from doing some other tasks that he felt were more important to the business and because it was so time consuming, he sometimes fell behind with other jobs. Worker felt he was constantly playing catch up and found it stressful when Boss started chasing his other reports.
When Boss asked about the report, Worker got quite excited. If Software Developer could automate some of the processes, it would save him so much time! Worker would be able to focus on other, more productive tasks that he actually enjoyed!
Software Developer came back to Boss with a solution and a price. The solution would mean that the report was not only automatically generated but would be updated in close to real time. Worker wouldn’t have to do anything. Customer would be able to log in to a dedicated web portal and view the report whenever she wanted or needed to.
Boss looked at the price – and decided that the small benefit Customer would get, didn’t warrant the spend. The price was less than one month’s wages for Worker – who went off sick with stress a few weeks after the Boss told him the project wasn’t going ahead.
And none of them lived happily ever after.
Are you Ready to Manage Time?
If you are interested in finding out how you could save your workers’ time and reduce their (and your) stress levels, call us in for a complimentary Systems Survey. We can look at your existing systems and workflows, providing suggestions for integrations and automations that will help to transform your business. Arrange your appointment now by emailing Judy.firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 07472 972 439.