Unproductive working: 'Turn moans into smiles to be more productive at work'

Thoughtless work processes and inefficient IT systems can be a thorn in the side for many workers.  There is no end to the amount of moans and groans made by staff in relation to enduring unproductive ways of working.  Following several years of listening to staff moaning, I am always amazed to see the amount of energy staff spend moaning and yet there is reluctance amongst most staff to do anything to resolve the issue; or propose a solution to the problem.  I am not suggesting for one minute that all of these moans are not genuine, as some organisations are better at tackling issues head on, whilst others have a tendency to bury their heads in the sand. 

To illustrate this point to organisations, I often quote Bill Gates who said “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency”.

One simple solution I have used in the past to overcome these barriers is to make the process of improving fun! Give each member of staff a blank joke book and each time they spot something that makes them laugh; or does not make any sense they are encouraged to write it down, rip out the page and put it in the Leadership team’s post box.  The comments are reviewed by the Leadership team and feedback is provided, including giving rewards to recognise the great ideas implemented as a result of the feedback.  I have found this to be a great way to capture new ideas and reduce moaning in the work place. If you turn every moan into a smile [joke] which is infectious, this will spread quickly across the organisation and will lead to everyone being more productive and engaged.

What would you write in your joke book? 

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