Unlocking Workforce Capacity by Improving Ways of Working | Brian Heger

Leadership & Culture

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Leaders continuously seek ways to boost organizational capacity to execute business priorities more efficiently and effectively. While acquiring more people (e.g., employees, contractors, etc.) is one way to increase workforce capacity, another way is to unlock capacity through improved ways of working. According to Mercer’s 2024 Global Talent Trends report, many workers report barriers to productivity at work, including being bogged down with lower-value work, frequent interruptions, insufficient thinking time, and too many meetings. Although these productivity barriers may seem insignificant by themselves, they collectively stifle an organization’s efficiency and undermine a high-performing culture. For instance, AT&T’s Project Raindrop Initiative identified numerous opportunities to streamline work processes. A “raindrop” is described as an outdated policy, a redundant process, or an unhelpful tool—anything that impedes progress. While one or two of these issues might be manageable, their cumulative effect can overwhelm employees and waste time, energy, and money. Addressing these issues has saved AT&T 3.6 million hours and avoided over $230 million in costs over the past three and a half years. Here is my simple worksheet that can help jumpstart conversations for identifying opportunities for improving ways of working and unlocking workforce capacity. Could this be a discussion topic for your next team meeting?