HRM Five: Tips for boosting employee efficiency

As the old adage goes, time equals money. These words have never been more true than in 2017.

As the old adage goes, time is money. And this has never been more true.

In today’s economic conditions, companies are increasingly employing a lean business model to stay competitive. Yet although teams are smaller, they are still expected to deliver top-notch results and perform just as well, if not better.

Here are five tips you can pass along to line managers and employees to help them with time management and boosting efficiency.


  1. Make every meeting 10 minutes shorter

  • Think how much time you'd get back into your day if all of your meetings were 10 minutes shorter. So, one hour becomes 50 minutes, and half an hour becomes 20 minutes.

  • You wouldn't lose any substance or content, but knowing you have less time would cut out inevitable small talk and encourage people to be more efficient and get the point quicker.

  • All those 10 minutes add up, giving employees valuable time back - whether that's used to complete important tasks, generate new business leads, network, think more deeply about a particular issue or challenge, or even simply leave the office earlier to strike a better work-life balance.


  1. Automate monotonous tasks

  • Just because something has always been done a certain way, it doesn't mean it's the best way.

  • Business automation is a necessity in today’s competitive environment and saves time for employees to do more productive tasks.

  • Whether it be sending out pay stubs to employees, transport receipts or sending invoice to vendors -- automate whatever you can.

  • There are plenty of softwares out there which can help with that, and employees no longer have to safekeep hardcopy receipts and manually declare each claim.

  • Reducing such paper waste is not only efficient for businesses, but also great for the environment.

  1. Harness the power of big data

  • Closely related to the point of business automation, is tapping on big data to work smarter and more efficiently.

  • For example, by automating employees' travel claims with software such as Grab for Business, it minimises the time that employees spend doing claims, while also allowing employers to have an accurate view of employee name, team, pickup and drop-off locations, purpose of travel, travel time and payment mode etc.

  • This data allows human resource or finance executives to be able to track and analyse employee travel pattern and cash flow, and set the right transportation policies to boost productivity.


  1. Follow the “two-minute rule”

  • Set yourself a "two-minute rule" – if you see a task or action that you know can be done in two minutes or less, do it immediately.

  • Completing the task right away actually takes less time than having to get back to it later.


  1. Talk to each other

  • While sending a quick email or chat message to a coworker across the office might seem like a more efficient way of getting an answer, often it can have the opposite effect.

  • People can take time to reply, and by the time you've typed out an email and gone back and forth a few times, you could have had a quick conversation, clarified the issue, and be on to the next thing.


Yamini Chinnuswamy offers five important points on everything you wanted to know about HR practices today, but were too afraid to ask. Check out previous editions of HRM Five here.

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