Professionals in your organization are probably doing the wrong tasks, and it’s resulting in unnecessary costs and reduced employee satisfaction.
For example, we were called into an organization when one of its mission critical departments was not meeting standards and had high staff turnover. We discovered that the professionals in this department were doing tasks that could have been done (at least as well) by staff in lower level positions. The organization was wasting money by paying these professionals to do these lower level tasks. As well, the professionals were not interested in this work, were not performing it well, were dissatisfied with the situation, and were looking for opportunities to move to other organizations.
This Is A Classic Example Of A Double Whammy: High Costs And Low Employee Satisfaction
This is not an isolated example. Our research on 14 organizations shows that professionals spend about half of their time doing tasks that other employees in lower level positions could be paid less money to do just as well. We have found that the average annual potential cost savings works out to about $10,950 per professional position. This is a lot of wasted money. Further, this situation is also costly in terms of low employee satisfaction resulting from doing work that is not interesting or challenging.
We find these issues in a wide range of situations. The following is a list of some of them.
- In sales areas, higher level relationship managers spend too much time doing lower level transactional sales.
- In marketing areas, higher level marketing managers spend too much time doing lower level proceduralized analysis.
- In hospitals, professionals spend too much time doing work that paraprofessionals can do at least as well.
- In finance areas, higher level analysts spend too much time doing lower level analytical work that should be proceduralized and delegated.
How Can You Improve These Situations?
- First, distinguish between positions that require a higher level diagnostic capability and positions that can use procedures to get the work done.
- Second, break the work into tasks, and determine which tasks require the higher level diagnostic capability and which do not.
- Third, reconfigure the tasks into the appropriate positions.
- Fourth, ensure that you have the right people in the positions, that they are clear about the requirements, and they have the appropriate training and support.
Successfully aligning tasks and the company infrastructure can result in both reduced costs and increased employee satisfaction.