Doing More With Less is As Easy As 1, 2, 3 (4 and 5)!

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City and government budgets are tight as ever, and clerks are being asked to do more with less.  In fact, a recent survey suggests that “being asked to do more with less” is the biggest challenge for government workers today.

While we are still a few decades away from being able to clone worker-versions of ourselves like in the movie “Multiplicity”, clerks across the country are finding ways to do more with fewer resources.  So while the deliverables and expectations may continue to grow, clerks are getting more clever and efficient with their jobs.

Here are five things you can do to lighten the load at work, which will help improve efficiency and lighten your load.

1. Seek out free help.  If you can’t afford consultants, seek out relationships with fellow clerks, recorders, and district office workers.  Networking through professional organizations or online groups and social media, can help you solve real-life work issues.  Successful partnerships pool resources together to create better outcomes with less.  For example, on Black Mountain Software’s LinkedIn Group, the City Clerk Café, clerks share procedure manuals with each other so new clerks do not have to “reinvent the wheel.”

Another option for free help is to seek out volunteers, professors, students, interns, work-study partnerships and parents who are often happy to share their time and expertise with you.  They gain experience, and you gain extra manpower.

2. Out with the old, in with the new.  Create a process chart for your day’s activities and decide where there are monotonous, duplicate, or outdated processes that can be streamlined.  Then, when you do streamline a process, eliminate the old one.  Avoid “system bloating” by dissolving of an old project every time you create a new one.  This keeps you doing the best most efficiently, instead of doing too many things poorly.

3. Look for free services.  There are many online services that can help you organize and streamline your processes for free.  For example, Dropbox is a free file-sharing service, and YouTown is a service with free mobile apps for local governments. There are free applications for emergency management, DMV markets, project management, meeting recording, school management—you name it!  Google areas of office management you struggle with, and see what kind of apps are out there to help!

4. Adjust your vision.  Pick one time a year to evaluate the needs of your organization and prioritize your obligations.  Ideally, you could do everything all the time, but in today’s workplace, it is necessary to determine what is most important and how to address what is currently not being done. Is there a way to re-assign a task? Cut down on the amount of time a task takes? Or upgrade your system to automate a task? Does your customer really need X, Y, or Z ?  These are the questions you should reflect on yearly with your superior to determine how to get more done with less.

5. Make sure your software does more, so you can do less.  Are you taking advantage of searchable reports? Paperless billing? Automated voice response?  Simple add-ons to your Black Mountain Software package can save you time and money, allowing you to run a more efficient office. Our systems were designed with ease-of-use built in to each piece of software, because we know you don’t need more complexity in your day. To find out more about our software and optional add-ons, contact our sales team at: 1-800-353-8829.

There’s no telling how long agencies will be required to do more with less.  But it is important to take a look from the outside to determine how you can more efficiently implement processes to prevent overload.  A little work and foresight can save you time, money, and stress, and help you better reach your goals.

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