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How Role Study Helps You Make The Most Of Your Resources

26th October 2021

“Scarcity” seems to be the word of the season. Amongst a dire warning of no toys and turkey for Christmas, the underlying cause is scarcity of resources.

From a productivity perspective, it has always been important to make the most of your people, targeting their talents and skills at the parts of your business that matter most to your customers. Now, pursuit of role productivity could be a deciding factor in whether you have enough resources to do the basics in business.

At every skill level, you will find shortages. Different workstudy techniques can be deployed to help you make the most of your resources. We recommend role studies to truly get under the skin of what is holding back your most skilled people – whether it be your leadership team or those in specialist roles, like highly trained salespeople, baristas, or pharmacists, for example. The great thing about focusing on specialist and leadership roles is that they are the key to the consistent delivery of your brand’s promise and how you differentiate yourself from the competition.

What can role study do for you?

By shadowing roles over a full shift, we measure what takes time and benchmark it against other organisations. For example: 

  • How much time is used by admin, trackers and reporting things on paper that could be done quicker and easier on an app or tablet? 
  • What are your team doing that could be stopped with no impact on the business, such as cashing up less often, stopping stock counts, or things they do just because they may be asked about it in an audit and may lose their bonus if they fail?
  • How much time is spent in calls and meetings? Or prepping for them? We’ve seen industries built around conference calls and store manager specialist subjects. Whilst these were started to keep everyone informed and supported, they can turn into time sinks that, in reality, are not delivering value 
  • How much time do your managers and specialists spend doing things that only they can do? If it’s less than 50%, do you really need more than one of those roles on shift?
  • Do roles spend focused time on their specialist tasks? Or are they frequently interrupted or pulled into firefighting?
  • How much time is taken up doing extra things that area managers ask them to do?
  • We also provide a measure of how consistently roles spend time between stores and how differentiated each leadership or specialist level is – this provides an understanding of the bedrock of your organisational design

The output of these studies helps businesses like yours to make decisions. Just a few changes that our clients are making as a result of our study include:

  • Reducing the number of team leaders when analysis showed up to three on a shift, each spending a small amount on differentiated tasks. And, to make it worse, they lost significant time discussing who was doing which task
  • Introducing digital tools for audits and trackers, making it easier to capture the information needed and eliminating the checking, signing and filing of paper trackers
  • Reviewing the tools for the jobs they give to managers – how many different routes are there for reports, KPI trackers and important messages from head office? The more that gets thrown at stores, the more office time is created for managers trying to work out what they need to do. This reduces the likelihood of timely and consistent implementation

Role design is an area that can become hamstrung by differing opinions on what the current reality is. A role study gives you clear evidence of how it really is, creating a compelling case to make changes that will drive a difference for your team, customers and bottom line.

Get in touch to discover more about our role studies.