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Creating Efficiency in the Workplace: Focus on the First Step (Part 2)


If you haven't yet read Part 1 of this blog, start here!

Why Focus Only On the First Step?

Consider this example that a manager once shared with me about efficiency in the workplace. You need to mail an invitation to one hundred people. You have 100 copies of the letter, 100 envelopes, 100 address labels, and 100 stamps. How do you go about doing the work? My answer was “fold all the letters, stuff all the envelopes, attach all the labels, and then attach all the stamps – you’re more efficient when you focus on one task at a time.”

His reply? “What happens when you go to stuff the first envelope and realize the letter does not fit the way you folded them … all 100 of them? Wouldn’t it be more efficient to take one letter all the way through the process, to make sure it works as expected, and then you can do the other 99 however you’d like?”

As you start taking those first steps in your workplace efficiency story, remember:

  • There is no efficiency without effectiveness – going fast but not achieving the desired results means a lot of bad results, quickly.
  • Don’t trade resiliency for efficiency – prevent your organization from becoming vulnerable to breakdown due to PTO, illness, or someone moving on.
  • Find ways to balance your efforts between quick wins on lower-value items and longer-term work on high-value items.
  • Always come back to WHAT and WHY:
    • WHAT are we trying to achieve
    • WHAT are our desired effects/outcomes
    • WHY focus on this area rather than something else
    • WHY do we do it this way
    • WHY do we think there is a more efficient option – before you jump into HOW

About KCare

KCare is a suite of innovative software solutions designed for behavioral health and human services organizations. Our industry-leading EHR, case management, and analytics products are designed to boost employee efficiency while improving client outcomes.  For over 25 years, providers have trusted KCare to transform how they deliver care through our software solutions, including extendedReach, Exym, and Stabilify.

As a certified B Corporation, we operate our business in accordance with the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.  We are also part of the global Pledge 1% movement, donating 1% of our profits to the communities served by our customers.



Mike Alexander

Chief Operating Officer, KCare