Ask most managers if they believe their work is efficient and they will answer, “No!” Managers are spending almost two days a week performing unnecessary administrative tasks leading to inefficiencies that are draining productivity. This is according to a new Management Study.
The report produced by ServiceNow resulted from surveying nearly 1,000 U.S. and U.K. business managers. The report finds that managers are spending 15 hours per week performing administrative tasks, such as filing forms, sending email updates and updating spreadsheets, which are taking leaders away from their core job functions and lowering their overall productivity.
Participants were asked how the tools and processes in their corporate environment affected individual and team effectiveness in four specific areas: opening a purchase order, ordering marketing collateral, setting up a new employee and requesting tech support.
Key findings include:
- The productivity drain is compounded by the complexity of business processes and the lack of interdependence between departments.
- On average, respondents reported having to deal with 4 different departments for the enterprise services common in almost every organization.
- More than 90 percent said the inefficiency of other departments directly impacts their individual and team productivity.
- More than 30 percent also said that it takes more than 10 individual interactions such as emails, phone calls or personal visits to make sure the company is ready for that new employee’s first day.
- More than 30 percent said five to 10 departments are typically involved in getting a new employee set up for their first day.
- Information workers spend as much time on unnecessary tasks as they do their jobs.
This makes obvious sense to us considering that cooperation and interdependence between departments is a major outcome of TIGERS group development efforts. However, 9 in 10 managers, regardless of company size or team function, spent time on administrative tasks outside their core job function:
- Those tasks include tasks such as providing status updates, filling out forms, requesting support and updating spreadsheets.
- On average, they spent more than 15 hours or 2 days a week on routine administrative tasks, with 20 percent spending 3 days or more. As a result, half of those surveyed said they did not have time for more strategic initiatives.
- The tools used in the work environment are ill suited for the tasks they need to complete.
- More than 80 percent of those surveyed rely primarily on inefficient, manual tools such as email, telephone calls and personal visits to get work done.
Email was the top method used for opening a purchase order (53 percent) and onboarding a new employee (46 percent)
Workers feel they could be more productive if the technology in the office were more like the technologies they use at home and on the go.
- Seventy-five percent of those surveyed agree that work processes and systems should work more like those they experience as consumers.
- Nine in 10 surveyed said that automating these inefficient processes would make them more productive. Workers want the simplicity and self-service control and transparency that they experience with popular online services they use in their personal lives.
These issues can be overcome. Leaders can easily streamline and automate their internal business services today to get back this wasted time. If a company can whiteboard a process from request to approvals to fulfillment, they can build — and automate — practically any business process in HR, finance, IT, legal, marketing and more. Automation can help identify where time is wasted and where processes can be improve.
“While everyone agreed that productivity depends on how smoothly internal business processes run, the survey showed those processes are akin to a navigating a labyrinth,” said Dave Wright, ServiceNow chief strategy officer. “Knowing when you have work to do, and being able to measure how effectively you perform that work, makes the whole organization more effective.”
The impact of this study can be seen throughout various organizations, especially during implementation of corporate strategies. While navigating from strategy to execution, many companies face a disconnect between the expectations of various levels in the organization. CEOs are likely to significantly overestimate their company’s ability to execute strategy, and may be missing opportunities to take the necessary actions to drive effective execution and skill development.
Top performing companies – yielding significantly higher revenue growth, profitability and market share – take the necessary actions to ensure that employees are aligned with the company strategy. They possess the right mindset and are equipped with the skills and capabilities necessary to execute. This includes teambuilding activities such as developing effective group norms with behavior identified to make implementation possible without considerable conflict.
To ensure superior strategy execution, companies must look beyond initiatives that build alignment – and proactively facilitate skill development and deep commitment by immersing leaders in the strategy. Traditional strategy communication and “push” methods alone – town hall meetings and leadership presentations – are no longer enough to maximize results. What is required is a catalytic teambuilding event that gets everyone on the same page from an emotional, committed and accountable framework.
Effective action planning and strategy deployment are explored during the 6 Principles That Build High Performance Teams workshop, which can be facilitated through the clinic or in-house with a TIGERS facilitator guiding the team. In this experiential and hands-on workshop for HR Executives, Project Managers, Team Leaders and Managers, participants experience the team catalytic resources and teambuilding activities that lead to high performance team results in developing action plans for business strategy deployment. Participants of this teambuilding event are guided through the steps and processes required to engage employees to champion deployment and to build highly effective workforce development team action plans so strategy deployment rolls out without a hitch.
Simply put, management inefficiencies that are draining productivity can be corrected through team problem solving and action plan deployment.
Copyright TIGERS Success Series, Inc. by Dianne Crampton
TIGERS is a Bend, Oregon team building consultancy that licenses and trains HR Executives and Management Consultants to use powerful team development tools that help to transform organizations into the type of workplaces employees enjoy returning to after a couple of days off. Join us in the 6 Principles that Build High Performance Teams leadership clinic to learn how to correctly develop new teams for complex organizational problem solving and change initiatives. Learn the steps required to transform low performing teams into excellent ones. Click here for more information.