Why are we wasting billions on unnecessary administrative tasks?

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Did you know? Businesses in Australia and New Zealand are wasting AU$56 billion per annum on unnecessary and time consuming administrative tasks, according to 2016 research by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated and Coleman Parkes Research.

The $56bn Question reveals workforces across Australia and New Zealand are burdened by complexity and poor performing technology. According to the results, the time your employees are being bogged down with non-essential tasks is severely impacting productivity. On average, this is creating losses of AU$3,900 per year, per employee.

Organisations need to focus on boosting employee engagement by treating their people as valued assets not as an expense. How can they do this? By increasing collaboration and reducing the administrative burden through automation technology, organisations are better equiped to empower employees to increase productivity and profitability.

Commenting on the importance of the report, Joyce Maroney, director of The Workforce Institute, said, “Strong employee engagement is fundamental to a business’ bottom line, with engaged employees much more likely to “go the extra mile”. However, this report demonstrates that engagement is not currently a core focus for HR teams or business leaders.”

“To retain talent and create a motivated, productive workforce, businesses need to put their focus on their people through better communication and collaboration. This is the solution to the $56bn Question.”

When it comes to balancing customer needs and manager expectations, the report reveals that one in five respondents find it difficult to complete their daily tasks due to workplace complexity. The factors creating this complexity include lack of staff availability, poor technology support, internal politics, and unrealistic workloads. These issues make it difficult to maintain customer service levels in today’s 24/7 business environment.

Cutting back just one hour of time wasted on non-essential tasks each week could save organisations AU$22 billions of dollars per annum, equating to a saving per employee of AU$1,548 a year.

On average, an employee in Australia and New Zealand wastes three hours each week, with most of this time taken up by unnecessary administrative tasks – equating to six percent of an average working week or AU$3,900 a year based on an average income. With 14.3 million people in employment in Australia and New Zealand, this creates a potential AU$55.8bn opportunity cost annually to companies.

Engagement is critical to business continuity and success, because engaged employees are much more likely to “go the extra mile”. But unfortunately many company leaders are not focused on engagement with more than half of business owners looking more at their numbers, rather than the people who deliver the work.

The impact of poor technology on engagement and productivity levels was prevalent throughout the report. Organisations must focus on implementing the right technology to make working life easier. 72 percent of respondents cited loss of productivity caused by out-dated systems and technology. 62 percent of respondents say better, up-to-date workforce management technology would improve employee engagement.

Peter Harte, managing director of Kronos Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, said, “This report is a wake-up call for organisations to make the changes necessary to unburden their workforce from outdated systems and unnecessary complexity. It’s time to start conversations on what changes are required to drive improve productivity in order to deliver profitability and growth.”

“Workforce management solutions are already available to empower an organisation’s workforce to do so. There is no need to wait. Savings reaped from workforce management solutions can be reinvested in new innovation to sustain competitiveness through an engaged workforce culture.”

Chloe Potvin
Chloe Potvin is a contributing small business writer for Kochie's Business Builders.