The relationship between productivity, time and effort is an interesting one. We’re all familiar with the diminishing returns that happen when we burn out: spending more time tackling an endless to-do list doesn’t mean we accomplish more. In fact, Stanford researchers found that output falls off sharply after a 50-hour workweek. After 55 hours, the researchers found that productivity declines so much that spending additional time working is almost pointless. Busyness doesn’t help us accomplish more– it’s a hindrance to success.
I live my life by a simple rule: work smarter, not harder. I’m always looking for ways to automate and streamline day-to-day tasks, freeing up time and energy to focus on higher-level challenges. As a Senior Data Analyst at Lucas Group, it’s exciting to put this approach into action by implementing innovative systems that will help our Associates be more efficient and effective.
Innovation in Action: Bringing New Modern Systems to the forefront our organization to help drive company growth and improve Lucas Groups’ reporting capabilities.
Currently, we’re in the process of rolling out four new systems and tools: Our primary data source for our Associates is currently undergoing a massive cleanup effort of our client & candidate information inside our database. This undertaking by our leadership team will enable better, data-driven decision making for our whole business. Our New Human Capital Management system will be a single source of truth for everything from bonus calculations to HR contracts to offer letters. Our commissions calculator system provides robust compensation visibility, showing how a placement recorded in Bullhorn translates into Associate pay, and can even predict future earning potential. Our Reporting Platform brings data from all these systems together in a single smartphone-friendly dashboard to access insights on the go. Finally, we’re using the Microsoft Azure to house our data source systems and streamline our future reporting capabilities.
These robust, best-in-class solutions blow old legacy systems out of the water, and it’s easy to say, “Wow, these are really innovative!” But for me, meaningful innovation isn’t just the tool itself but also the process around choosing and implementing the tool. Otherwise, you can have a tool that’s “innovative” but actually makes life more difficult since it’s clunky to use or the learning curve is too steep.
Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Innovation
Successful innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum. For most companies, it starts with understanding their customers’ needs, desires and behaviors. For me, my “customers” are my colleagues– recruiters in the field who need timesaving, efficient solutions that aren’t a burden to learn. It all comes back to this challenge: How can I use innovation to help others work smarter and make their job easier to do what they do they best, not harder?
Every system we’re rolling out needs to be tested by our Associates. Is the interface user-friendly? Can Associates find what they need quickly? Is there a better way to present information or organize data? There are a many moving pieces, so we’re taking a methodical approach to be sure we’re happy with the result. This is the less glamorous side of innovation, but it’s arguably the most important one. Without testing and validation, it doesn’t matter how great a system is if it creates more problems for our team than it solves.
Getting all these platforms integrated isn’t easy, and it’s why we’re doing such extensive user acceptance testing. It’s a substantial effort to roll out new platforms that replace outdated legacy systems– and it takes a culture of innovation to be successful. This is something I appreciate about Lucas Group: we’re open to new ideas, we’re continually brainstorming creative solutions, and we’re willing to take the time to get things right. Most importantly, there’s a genuine respect for each person’s opinion, perspective and experience. This respect is key to creating an inclusive environment where we can bring innovative solutions to life for our colleagues.
How does your organization use innovation to help employees work smarter and better serve your clients? Share your approach in the comments below.