Le grand théoricien du management Peter Drucker partait d’un constat simple : dans les activités de services, l’amélioration de la productivité passe par l’élimination d’activités sans valeur ajoutée. Il se trouve que les plus à même d’identifier ces activités que Drucker appelle « corvées » sont les opérationnels. Les enquêtes terrain sont donc de précieux outils pour améliorer la productivité des entreprises de services.
Process Excellence Network revient sur cette méthode illustrée d’exemples concrets
(…) Generally speaking, most problems can be converted into opportunities. That’s the guiding principle underlying the proper use of employee surveys. Examples abound. Peter Drucker tells how one survey achieved jaw-dropping gains in knowledge worker productivity in an article in the California Management Review.
He provided an excellent example of how nurses in a major hospital were asked a few questions in an employee survey : What is your task ? What should it be ? What should you be expected to contribute ? What hampers you in doing your task and should these obstacles be eliminated? According to Drucker: “The nurses were sharply divided as to what their task was, with one group saying ‘patient care’ and another saying ‘satisfying physicians.’ However, they were in complete agreement on the things that made them unproductive. They called them ‘chores,’ paperwork, arranging flowers, answering the phone calls of patients’ relatives, answering the patient bells and so on. All—nearly all—of these could be turned over to a non-nurse floor clerk, paid a fraction of a nurse’s pay. When the nurses were freed of chores, their productivity nearly doubled, as measured by the time at the patients’ bedsides. Further, patient satisfaction more than doubled and turnover of nurses (which had been catastrophically high) almost disappeared, all within four months. »
Another Example and Its Lessons
In today’s modern department store a great many controls are required. Each sale has to be recorded. There is need for information for inventory control, billing, credit, delivery and so on. But, Drucker reminded us: »In far too many department stores the salesperson is supposed to provide all the control information. As a result, he/she has less and less time to do what he is paid for, that is, selling. Indeed, in some large American retail stores, over 50 percent of the salesperson’s time is devoted to paperwork…with only one third left for selling. The remedy is a simple one and works whenever tried. Once the salesperson has done his or her job, which is to serve the customer, the entire paperwork is turned over to a separate clerk who services a number of sales people and does the paperwork for them. (…)
The Power of Asking the Right Questions
Knowledge workers and service workers should always be asked : Is this work necessary to your main task ? Does it contribute to your performance ? Does it help you do your job ? If the answer is “no, » Drucker said, the procedure or operation must be a “chore” rather than “work. » It should either be dropped altogether or engineered into a job of its own. Improving the productivity of knowledge workers and service workers demands well-constructed, first-rate surveys and focus groups. (…)