By: Laura Stack, president of The Productivity Pro, Inc.
LauraStackHow many times have you heard, “We need to do more with less” in your organization? Frankly, after 22 years speaking and writing on productivity, I can say with certainty that doing more isn’t always better.

For instance, would you be more impressed with an employee who completed 17 low-value tasks in one day, or just seven high-value tasks? Can an employee who works eight hours be more productive than one who works 12? Of course, it’s possible—but just because someone is working longer doesn’t mean more was achieved. What really matters is results—not check marks—and not hours. Busyness doesn’t necessarily equal productivity, no matter how you slice it.

Organizations need to help employees create impactful results versus more results. Instead of asking, “How do we do more with less?” we need to be asking, “How can we do less to achieve more?” In other words, how can organizations reduce non-value added work, tighten processes, and raise efficiency?

Finding productivity gains can be uncovered by asking employees questions such as:

  • What are the three most mind-numbing, time-wasting hoops you must jump through on a weekly basis? Capture all the responses. Most likely people are spending a lot of time on common paper-based tasks—such as reading, saving, printing, signing, scanning, sharing and sending documents. These efforts can be replaced with a new innovative solution such as Xerox’s Digital Alternatives – a simple desktop and mobile assistant technology that automates paper-based workflows that exist within any large organization.
  • What time-draining procedures or activities do you find yourself doing more than three times a week? This question will help identify obstacles that slow employees down repeatedly. You’ll also discover redundancy if multiple people are doing the same tasks, such as wasteful printing. By using Xerox’s Print Awareness Tool, employees can print smarter while being more environmentally responsible.
  • How can we help you get things done more quickly? Brainstorm ways to automate systems and reduce wasted time, so employees are empowered to get work done faster and better – either in the office or remotely. Put technology in place to systematize any manual processes and save valuable time.

When you take an honest look at employees’ daily habits, workflow and processes, you’d likely discover there’s a clog in the productivity machine. Implementing solutions like Xerox’s Digital Alternatives and Print Awareness Tool will help shake it loose.

Let’s face it – today’s workforce doesn’t want to deal with nagging time bandits, frustrations and productivity-sappers.  Offering innovative solutions that make work life more impactful gets us all closer to maximizing productivity in a more with less/less with more business world.

Note: Laura Stack filed this content as a paid contributor to Xerox. 

© 2014 Laura Stack. Laura Stack is the president of The Productivity Pro, Inc. For over 20 years, her speeches have helped professionals, leaders, and teams improve output, lower stress, and save time at work.