Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Are There “Hands in the Till” in Your Company?

28 July

Way back when I started my career in computers and software training, I worked with a lady who was passionate about efficiency and saving money within the workforce. She was a real character and had a saying for everything it seemed.
One of her favourites was

don't leave money in the till

“your computer is like a cash register; if you’re not using it properly it’s like someone stealing money from the till!”
(You might be able to guess here that Judith worked in finance)

Now she might have been a little over the top with her mention of stealing, but you can see where she was coming from. Mistakes and inefficiencies on the computer could cost her department and the whole organization real $’s (well if I’m being accurate I would say £’s in this case as it was back in the UK).

  • Mistakes in Excel caused incorrect figures and totals that took peoples time to trace and rectify
  • Badly constructed documents meant the corporate branding was diluted and confused
  • Poorly constructed PowerPoint presentations reduced the effectiveness of key presentations and sales pitches
  • Inefficient spreadsheet design meant tasks took far longer to do than was necessary, causing managers and decision makers to delay their processes
  • Poor use of Outlook’s calendar made organizing a meeting a hit or miss affair

I could go on and on here of course!

The crazy part about that list is that it is as relevant today as it was all those years ago.

The software we use has improved beyond all recognition; but we continue to make the same costly mistakes. And those mistakes cost us real money, whether your currency is $, £, € or anything else for that matter.

Judith was very fond of telling us what monetary amount we could save the company if we increased proficiency and reduced mistakes. She’d take our hourly wage, multiply it by what time she thought we’d wasted on blunders and inefficiencies and tell us we “owed” her that amount. She always said it with a laugh and with a smile – but the message was clear.

Ask yourself these very simple questions:

  • Do you think that every member of your staff uses the software they spend so much time in to its fullest extent and capabilities?
  • Do you think you’re paying people to do tasks that could be done in less time?

It’s not the staffs fault of course. They are busting a gut to do the best they can. The trouble is, all too often they are not given the proper level of training they deserve or need to do the job properly

So? Are there hands in your companies till?