The Art of Doing Less

‘The most important resource our people have is their time,’ says an HR leader from a well-known media and technology company, in a recent interview with Josh Bersin of consulting firm Deloitte. ‘So what I’ve learned after nearly 20 years in HR, is that we need to do away with almost 75% of the things we do.’

How telling:  a senior HR executive admitting that the majority of things we do are a waste.

The blogpost by Bersin, a human resources expert, features opinions by several other HR leaders on what’s working and what’s not in the human resources function in large organizations. 

The frustrations shared by these leaders point to a larger trend in the workplace towards design thinking, or the idea of creating solutions that are compelling, effective, simple, and perhaps even enjoyable.  According to Fast Company, design thinking describes a repeatable process employing unique and creative techniques which yield guaranteed results that exceed initial expectations.

Bersin suggests that design thinking should take aim at the heart of unnecessary workplace complexity by putting the employee experience first — thereby helping to improve productivity.  Indeed, a future in which companies employ a Chief Experience Officer is very real.

Why is there so much ‘waste’ and duplicative efforts in the workplace? We have access to more and more systems, each promising to make our lives easier, yet most employees usually find themselves relying on the same, specific set of tools that they find reliable and useful.

Blame this trend on aging legacy systems, mergers and acquisitions (by both companies and their software vendors), and just human nature.

The good news is that given the plethora and flexibility of SaaS-based options (including standard language like no contract necessary or cancel at any time), employees and their managers can decide what works best for them.  They can even start from scratch and try something new.

Let your employees ‘do less to do more.’ Re-evaluate your HR systems and select only those that you believe will deliver the highest ROI. Your employees will be happier and will soar.

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