I recently read a wonderful recount of an episode in an organisation.
An employee was working late one evening when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand. “Excuse me,” said the CEO, “this is a very confidential and important document, and my PA has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work?”
“Certainly,” said the employee. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.
“Excellent!” said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine. “I just need one copy.”
Errors and re-work cost businesses plenty and yet, many handle the issue by merely venting frustration and complaining. People make mistakes and, to some extent, making mistakes is a good way to learn. However, allowing errors and re-work to continue at unacceptable levels results in direct costs to the business, as well as, loss of productivity.
But the 3 “C”s can help on the way to resolving the problem.
- Correct people in the right job: Getting the right person for the right job at the right time has enormous benefits for a business. Making the wrong decision can be stressful, confusing and expensive. Refer our previous blog on “Who to Employ” to start you on your way.
- Communicate: OK, you may have the right people with the right skills doing the right job, however, communication and consultation needs to be facilitated amongst the team. No one is an island – no employee can work in isolation to the rest of the organisation – keep people informed in relation to business activities; stress the importance of everyone talking and working together to make sure things don’t slip through the cracks or misunderstandings occur; think about just how urgent things are before asking someone not familiar with an aspect of work to help out.
- Continuously monitor and measure: Job costing and timesheets are great tools to monitor and measure work and costs. Monitoring and measuring the time it takes to do work, the materials used etc will provide invaluable information to identify areas prone to error or re-work and enable better practices, policies and procedures to be developed to minimize and/or get rid of these situations.