What is Business Red Tape Costing You?

The Shaker
Wed 20 May

“Just get out of the way!” you yell in frustration at no-one in particular.

It’s a helpless feeling when the hoops and hurdles of bureaucracy stymie a great idea, but have you ever stopped to wonder just how much you in-house processes are impacting on your productivity?

This morning, Chris Richardson did his usual tour of the breakfast programs to announce Deloitte’s latest report in the series Building the Lucky Country. Playing on the title of David Horne’s social critique, these four annual reports are intended to prompt debate and conversations across business, industry associations, government and the media on issues facing the Australian economy.

The latest edition, titled Get Out of Your Own Way looks at red tape within businesses of all sizes, and discusses strategies to reduce inefficiencies and help identify opportunities to increase productivity.  The report estimates that middle and upper management of medium to large companies spend almost 9 hours per week compliance with rukles that exist only within their own workplace.

One of the main issues identified is that of redundant systems – where staff are being required to undertake reporting, compliance or set activities that have been either superseded by new technologies, or by other systems within the workplace itself.

Another classic is the approvals processes, with untimely turnarounds to progress key milestones adding significant costs – despite their intent to reduce risk and control project overruns.

In summary, though, the report looks at the effect of all these rules and regulations on staff morale, noting that allowing people time to get more done gives people a greater sense of worth because they feel like they are getting more done.

You’ll need to sign up to Deloitte’s mailing list to get a copy of the report, but even a skim over the headline issues at the website provides valuable reminders for anyone involved in business management. Often the issues are right under your nose, and it’s reports like this that can help to shine a light.