The Top 3 Employee Habits that are Killing Business

By Samantha McCollough posted 11-17-2011 10:25


Anyone who owns or manages a business understands how difficult it can be. Positioning the company for growth while minimizing time wasted and cutting unnecessary costs is an integral part of any successful campaign. Yet it can seem at times that the staff you have in place to achieve these goals are the very same employees that are hindering your success. Described below are the top 3 time wasting activities at a business.

Searching for documents is a significant source of wasted time in an office. 15% of all paper handled in businesses is lost, according the Delphi Group and 30% of all employees’ time is spent trying to find lost documents. Employees performing ineffective searches and wasting time looking for information can cost companies up to 10% in salary expenses. It is not just low level employees either, 59% of middle managers miss important information almost every day because it exists within the company but they cannot find it.

Staff are often stuck recreating documents that are already made, either because the originals cannot be found or they do not know they exist. This results in duplicated efforts because multiple business units work on the same project without knowing it has already been done. IDC has reported that a worker spends an average of 3 hours a week reproducing content unnecessarily.

Surfing the internet for personal reasons is the number one time wasting element in an office. On the surface, this appears to be entirely the fault of the employee. Yet when the individuals were surveyed on the reason, one third rated ‘not having enough work’ as the primary driver for engaging in online entertainment. Is this the fault of the employee, or of mismanaging the staff?

So, how do you address these issues? A streamlined business process can alleviate many of the issues associated with the loss of productivity and the associated costs. For example, with a workflow solution, you can delegate tasks and ensure that assignments are being completed and workload is being distributed appropriately. If a staff member has no current projects, the workflow will reflect that and can be adjusted. A document management system can reduce the time spent searching for information to the point that the problem almost entirely disappears. In addition, having the proper content management system in place will increase employee happiness, thus improving productivity even more. The best course of action is the evaluate your current business state and recognize the areas where you can improve.