More than eighty percent of our activities are routine activities. In fact, we often feel confused about why we do these routines. If we think about it more deeply, maybe the routine doesn’t have a meaningful contribution. But because it has become a habit, sometimes it feels strange if we don’t do it. Especially if our other colleagues also do the same thing.
Likewise in work, we often follow various procedures and find it difficult in daily life. In fact, it could be that the procedure was drawn up several years ago under different circumstances. With the development of existing technology and organizations, it is possible that these procedures can be changed and become simpler.
Especially in modern organizations that adhere to the concept of bureaucracy. Employees are regulated in a specific but repetitive division of tasks. The goal is for employees in each position to become the most skilled in that field (because they keep working over and over) so that the process becomes faster. However, the impact is that employees often feel that their work is monotonous and trapped in routines and do not understand their contribution.
In conditions like this, there is no longer visible difference between humans and machines. Though the machine is much more effective and efficient in doing repetitive work. In addition, machines tend to produce more consistent results in terms of quality. So it is very reasonable if gradually this kind of work will be replaced by machines. So what is more value for us as humans than machines?
One thing that machines have not yet been able to imitate is innovation. If we don’t want to be left behind and replaced by machines, we must be able to make innovations and improvements that add value to the company. Not just doing routines but showing that we can contribute more than machines can.
The main goal of employees is how we can contribute as much as possible to the company. Therefore, we have to start sorting out which activities have a significant contribution and which ones are less contributing but must be carried out and which ones do not contribute at all.
Therefore we must be good at sorting out the activities we do every day. In general, our work activities can be divided into three types, namely:
Value Add activities are activities that have a direct impact on the quality or product received by the customer. This activity has three characteristics, namely:
- Customers are willing to “pay” for these activities.
- These activities change the form / function of the object or service provided.
- The activity is carried out correctly so it does not require rework
An example of this activity is the provision of extra head massage services to salon customers who do haircuts. This kind of activity is usually able to attract customers to come. That means the activity has all three required characteristics.
For this kind of activity, we need to increase its effectiveness and frequency according to need. So the innovations that we provide are usually ideas that, although they require certain costs, can significantly increase results.
Value Enabler is one form of activity that does not provide added value for customers, but it must be done in the production process. For example, the process of distributing goods from the warehouse to the store. Customers do not care about the distribution process, but the process must be carried out so that sales activities can be carried out.
For this kind of activity, we need to think about how the process can run more efficiently without compromising the effectiveness of the goal. Use equipment or systems (procedures, standardized formats, etc.) to shorten processing time and minimize rework and costs without compromising quality. If possible, review each step and replace/eliminate activities that are less effective.
Waste is a form of activity that does not provide added value for customers and is not useful in the operational process. But often this activity is found in our daily work, mainly due to routine. For example, waiting for meeting times, waiting for the document approval process, re-checking data and so on.
It is this kind of activity that we need to look at more closely and we need to find a way out so that it doesn’t have to happen again. For example, by making collective agreements on certain issues, dividing tasks and responsibilities centrally, setting up systems and policies and other activities aimed at minimizing the occurrence of these activities.
Now we need to look at the routine of what work we do every day. Are these jobs value added, value enabler, or are they waste? Don’t let our precious time be used to do routines and prevent us from contributing more. Make improvements to make routine work easier so that we have more time to think about other innovations.