It happens all the time: A staffer works through a tough problem, only to find somebody else had already solved it! This one step can keep folks from reinventing the wheel.
You barely have the heart to tell her. Maureen spent hours figuring out how to bypass that spreadsheet glitch. A feather in her cap for sure … except that Dennis came up with a shortcut 2 weeks ago.
A drain on productivity and morale.
It’s not necessarily that people are trying to keep their solutions from their co-workers. They may just not realize the person three cubicles down is struggling with the same thing.
A 99 cent notebook can change that.
Consider asking all finance staffers to start keeping “learning logs” — a book where they can track things they’d done and what they’d learned because of it.
It doesn’t have to be an earth-shattering solution. Maybe one of your A/P clerks came up with a cleaner way to enter vendors with abbreviations in their names in your master vendor file. The next time another staffer runs into that situation, he or she checks the log and has the answer in a snap.
Don’t just track victories either. Encourage staffers to record what didn’t work, too. Letting folks know what they can cross off their list of solutions to a particular challenge may be even more valuable.
That can get your people helping each other to make everyone more productive.