Human Resources and Technology

Improve people productivity first

March 31, 2015
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Technology marches on and impacts personal and business productivity and efficiency. Two recent books and stories point to that impact.

Can you imagine a smartphone-enabled device that would be able to analyze samples of blood or saliva in the comfort of your own living room? In his book, The Patient Will See You Now, Eric Topol discusses a future where smartphones and smartphone-enabled devices will shift the control of data from the doctor to the patient. Smartphones have essentially become a fifth limb, so why not create programs and devices that allow the user to effectively use their time. Heck, who doesn’t Google their symptoms today, discuss their research with friends, then head to the doctor armed with this information? Your smartphone and the advancing Internet of Things will enhance your medical experience.

Not only does productivity drive personal decisions, it is a major driving force behind business decisions that people make every day. As identified by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook is a leader in its industry both in revenue and productivity. Facebook generates $1.36 million compared to Google Inc. ($1.23 million) and LinkedIn ($355,000) per employee. Timothy Campos, Facebook’s CIO, focuses his effort on productivity, more specifically “how IT can enable the efficiency and effectiveness of the company.” Many business owners and leaders will spend their time redesigning business processes and systems to make them more effective. This is definitely necessary; however, Campos argues that this should come second to workforce productivity. Like the phrase “take care of your staff first and they will take care of your customers,” the same could be said about productivity. Make your staff more productive and that will result in savings.

How did Timothy Campos make Facebook workers more productive and how does that help my business?

“The best way to make a business process efficient is to completely automate it,” he said. Campos has started with the smaller tasks. These include notifying an employee that a visitor has arrived, locating available parking spaces and setting up meetings and conference calls. These are tasks that happen all the time, and by automating them Campos argues employees’ time is better spent in a more productive fashion.

Now how is that relevant for your business? My suggestion: learn from Facebook. As a business leader, actively look for ways to become more effective and efficient throughout the day, even in those tasks that may seem insignificant.

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