Allowing employees to pursue personal interests during downtime is what one company did to save money. And it’s paid off for them in a big way. Take a cue from them: Turn employee interests into company profit.
There are going to be times when an employee’s not very busy. Some might slow down their regular work to appear busy all the time, others might aimlessly browse the net to take up time and some might disrupt other employees out of boredom. However your employees use up their occasional downtime, it’s costing your company money.
One company, SuperGroup Creative Omnimedia Inc., decided to take the wasted time and put it to good use. They allow employees to pursue outside interests on company time — on a limited basis.
- employees have all of their work completed
- they have to drop what they’re doing if something work-related comes up, and
- it has to be a legal pursuit.
But other than that they’re free to pursue outside projects from their cubicles.
Put talent to good use
The company realized that employees were pursuing things like music, artistry, design, writing and photography. So they decided to use internal strengths for projects they’d usually have to outsource, saving a bundle.
Want a new design for advertising materials? John in accounting has been working on his graphic design skills and would love to flex his creative muscle.
Want to put some pictures up on the company Web site so customers know who you are? Tammy down the hall’s gotten to be quite the shutter bug and takes pictures that look really professional. And her friend Betty, she’s gotten really good at building Web sites, so she can load Tammy’s pictures to the site and even update the links.
Not only does SuperGroup use their employees for internal extras, they also come in handy for customers. The company’s now providing customers with services they couldn’t before — without having to expand.
For example, one client needed music written for an interactive Web site SuperGroup was creating. So, instead of outsourcing it like they usually do, SuperGroup had one of their employees write, perform and record the music. It saved the client money, which made them more loyal customers.
Plus, everyone freely shares what they’re working on, so it’s pretty common knowledge when someone has a useful skill.
They’re already on your payroll, so why not tap into your hidden talent pool?