By: Maron Koop 

In day-to-day business operations, it is easy to get stuck in the same patterns, especially in paperwork-heavy departments like claims recovery. Here are three things you can do to improve operations and improve your bottom line:

1. Reward Results, Not Time Spent

A long-held misconception is the more resources spent on a task, the higher its value. Traditionally, time has been the preferred way to measure value, and employees are rewarded accordingly. But some of the busiest and most dedicated people in an organization are the least productive. No one sets out to make this happen—it just does over time.

For example, if an employee spends all their time in meetings, managing logistics and responding to emails, their focus is on administration, not moving the business forward.

2. Focus Work On Value

Within some departments, employees have limitless opportunities to be busy but few opportunities to be productive. Creating incentives for employees to stretch two hours of work out over eight hours is not valuable for the company or the employee.
To combat this, develop a work culture that prioritizes value-added activities instead of busyness. Measuring, valuing and rewarding productivity and innovation for tasks that move the business forward enhances the workplace and the bottom line.

Incorporating the Pareto Principle (commonly known as the 80/20 rule) can help identify tasks that don’t add value to your organization. What 20% of your organization’s tasks generate 80% of your value? Hyper-focus on these. For the tasks making up the other 80%, what can be eliminated, automated or outsourced? Identify what tasks are not your company’s (or department’s) core competencies and try to remove them. Having valuable personnel tied up doing busy work is tragic for everyone!

For example, subrogation is a detailed, paperwork-heavy task that is rarely a department’s core competency. The minutiae of navigating tort claims processes can be cumbersome, and by outsourcing to AnSR, companies can rest assured their subrogation claims are handled with skill and determination.

3. Shorten Deadlines

As crazy as it sounds, giving employees less time to complete a task can make them more productive.

Parkinson’s Law dictates that all work expands to fill the allotted time in both perceived importance and complexity. Shortening the time given to complete a task nudges employees to become more focused and productive. The goal should be specific and selective tasks, instead of vague activity. Defining important tasks and focusing resources on those tasks is essential to improving business operations.

Be thorough in evaluating what creates value in your business. It’s not the all-day slog of pushing paper, checking emails or sitting in meetings. Daily, inexhaustible and petty details choke the life out of operations.

Productivity is a conscious choice, and incorporating these three tips into your business operations is guaranteed to increase productivity and value.

Maron Koop is the Director of Operations for Advanced Subrogation Resources (AnSR). To learn more about AnSR’s services, click here.