Freeing up time for employees in a context of rapid growth

A global transport and logistics company and Implement 

22 August 2020

The need for freeing up time for frontline personnel

Most of us can probably relate to the wish to have more time for important things.

A global transport and logistics company experienced a substantial increase in booked freight. Obviously, that kind of growth does not come about by itself, and all employees were sprinting to keep up with the increased workload. Sprints are fine for shorter periods of time, but the increased workload called for freeing up time and the mental resources of the employees in the long run.

To support the company strategy of attracting, developing and retaining the employees of the future, the company decided to come up with an innovative solution to the challenges of an increased workload.

The solution: using behavioural hacks to change daily practices

The company brought Implement Consulting Group on board to assist in the design and implementation of a project with the aim of freeing up time in the daily work of the freight forwarders.

Through a highly collaborative effort with the Business Development department, we designed and helped roll out a change process to meet the need for freed up time.

The solution consisted of a change programme that focused on behavioural hacks – 1% improvements which the freight forwarders installed in their daily practice. The hacks that were implemented were inspired by research, best practice in the industry and, more importantly, the ideas and hacks based on the participants’ own experience.

The effect: creating more time in your daily work life

"I am extremely proud of how employees and leaders leaned into the process and created more time in their daily work during a busy time."

A while after the implementation of the behavioural hack initiative, the participants were asked to evaluate the impact of it:

  • 92% experienced improvements in their daily life after the programme.
  • 89% indicated that they are prioritising the initiative and are actively working with hacks for an improved daily life.
  • 86% experienced that their team is good at helping each other implement good hacks and habits.

Furthermore, the participants said that the initiative gave them the following:

“Less stress and a feeling of getting things done.”

“Focus, unity and prioritised time increase the awareness of working with even small optimisation processes.”

“Peace of mind when I prioritise and get things done during busy times. I am even more structured than usual, and that gives me an overview of my daily work.”

Why did it work so well?

"It is one of the most effective efforts that we have rolled out to date. The key to this has been a combination of things: doing it as a team, the autonomy to choose and the insistence on tweaking the hacks to a local context."

The initiative of using behavioural hacks to free up time in the daily work of the freight forwarders was a great success. We believe that the success of the initiative rests on the design principles we relied on in the design and roll-out of the initiative:

  • Doing it together: People learn and change in communities of practice. Therefore, the whole organisation, from top leaders to freight forwarders, was involved in meetings and training sessions to create a common language and catalyse transformation across business areas and geographical locations.

  • Autonomy to choose: Nobody changes habits without being motivated. As part of the initiative, all employees and leaders were invited to set individual and team ambitions and focus on the things that were important to them. The hacks were presented as a buffet where you could choose the hacks that you had an appetite for – not a set menu.

  • Double autonomy tweak: The autonomy to choose was installed in the programme at an individual and team level, acknowledging that freeing up time often involves a number of people agreeing to do things in new ways.

  • Tweak to own context: You have to tweak hacks to your specific context in order to truly adopt them and make them part of your working habits. Through a focus on situated learning processes and the importance of continuous tweaking of the hacks, the participants were put in the driver’s seat of the implementation.

  • Collaboration with the organisation on a solution: From start to finish, the design of the solution was a co-creating endeavour between the company and Implement Consulting Group. The collaboration during the whole process continuously heightened the quality of the solution and sharpened the relevance and communication in all touchpoints.

How can we help?

If you are curious to learn more about how we work with freeing up time and making organisations more fit for humans and fit for the future, please reach out to us!

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