This month I learned a clever way to improve employee productivity, called Job Crafting. One of my clients (Winterberry Gardens in CT) gave me permission to share it with you, after we discussed it during our Leader’s Edge peer group in Plano, Texas. This tool is used by both Fortune 500 and small owner-operated firms. Here is an overview:
Pick an important employee who can’t seem to get everything done. Prepare a list of what you find most important in their job. Then meet and discuss their role and have them write down everything they do in a day, and then have them prioritize their list. Ask lots of open questions to get them involved. Together, identify where they have misprioritized their job tasks.
Also, have them tell you which tasks they love doing, and which (if any) they hate doing. Discuss the tasks they hate and decide what you can do about it. You end your meeting by identifying what they need to start focusing on, and what low-value tasks they can stop doing through delegation or improved systems.
I would take Job Crafting a step further: Have them track 2 weeks of their work day, where they spend their time in 15 minute increments. After two weeks have them compare their actual time spent vs where they should ideally spend their time. Meet with them to review the differences between actual and ideal, and what is pulling them off target. The results will be absolutely EYE OPENING. I guarantee you will uncover what I call Cascading Inefficiencies: One person’s inefficiencies cascade down or up the org chart, making others inefficient in your organization, too.