#Nextchat: The $687 Billion Question



“There is a point of complexity beyond which a business is no longer manageable.”

— Peter Drucker


A new global study from The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated and Coleman Parkes Research, The $687 Billion Question, found that U.S. businesses waste $687 billion per year on unnecessary administrative work and that the U.S. workforce is hindered by complexity, low productivity and poor-performing technology.

The research included extensive interviews with HR professionals, operations/line-of-business managers, and employees. It highlights the challenges, opportunities and costs of employee engagement—or a lack thereof—in organizations today, and how small changes can go a long way toward engaging employees and ultimately drive business success.

“Management demands, internal politics, unrealistic workloads, lack of staff availability and poor technology support create a perfect storm of complexity that detracts from providing high levels of customer service,” the study found.  And with “expanding regulatory requirements, the HR function is being forced into a role focused on managing risk as opposed to true people development.”

Additionally, more than half of those surveyed “feel their CEO is more focused on finances rather than employees” and “66 percent said that employee absences are a core disruption to business that also impacted their work.”

Think that employees leave their jobs for more money? Wrong. Respondents rated compensation as seventh on the list of reasons workers leave their jobs. “They are more likely to resign due to lack of direction, lack of focus, not seeing their future role in the company, not feeling valued, not feeling understood and not getting along with their manager,” according to the report.

Joyce Maroney, director of The Workforce Institute at Kronos, said, “This research shows that the average day is also becoming increasingly complicated for employees, with a large proportion of time being spent managing complexity instead of adding value. This is not how employees want to spend their days. As a society, we’ve reached an important junction where workforce demographics, working patterns and employee expectations are changing.” She added, “Organizations can increase the likelihood of meeting today’s challenges through strategic deployment of technology, a clear HR strategy, an appreciation of cultural change and a focus on employee engagement.”

Are your employees managing complexity or adding value, and what are you doing to reduce the red tape and increase morale, engagement and productivity in your organization?

Please join @shrmnextchat at 3 p.m. ET on January 4 for #Nextchat with special guests Joyce Maroney ( @wf_institute) from the Kronos Workforce Institute.

SHRM Director of Survey Research, Evren Esen (@shrm_research) will also join the conversation. 

Q1. What are some of the challenges that make work unnecessarily complex and unproductive?
Q2. Is organizational red tape a workplace culture problem or a process problem, and what are some solutions for removing it?
Q3. What steps have you taken to remove complexity from your workday, be more productive and add more value?    
Q4. Are employee absences a core disruption to your business, and how do they impact operations and your own work?
Q5. Organizations are investing more in employee engagement. What strategies are most effective in this regard? #Nextchat
Q6. If communication is key to engagement, what can employers do to encourage the development of this competency in managers?      
Q7. With HR’s role growing more complex due to expanding regulatory requirements, how can HR remain focused on people development and other engagement strategies?  
Q8. Technology should help, not hinder. How can employers turn technology into an engagement tool and a competitive advantage? 

If you missed this chat on 1/4/16, here is the RECAP with all the tweets.




The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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