Are your systems a productivity drain to your charity?

Are your systems a productivity drain to your charity?

28th May 2021

By Qariem Radix

Do you spend your working life wrangling with tech? Do your workplace computers say ‘no’ more often than ‘yes’?

If so, your workplace is one of many with IT systems that hamper rather than help your staff. And in the charity sector, you simply can’t afford that.

So, let’s take a look at how systems can work with you, not against you, to boost work efficiency and effectiveness to help achieve your charity goals.

Productivity stats

Debates about productivity often make staff sound like cogs in a machine! Talk of ‘inputs’ and ‘outputs’ is hard to translate to a charity environment, where it’s human outcomes that are important, not profits or products.

However, many staff members themselves agree there’s a productivity problem in their workplace.

A few years ago, Personnel Today reported on a think-tank study into productivity, which found that two-thirds of employees were working longer hours than before. Yet only 10% thought their productivity had risen – and 25% said it had actually dropped.

One of the main drains cited in the article? Poor systems and processes.

As the author stated: “Outdated and siloed IT systems create issues, particularly for multiple teams trying to work together, as they can lead to breakdowns in communication. This scenario is not only stressful, but means that workers also have to spend time fixing problems.”

Now try thinking of all those wasted staff hours in terms of pay. Staff time is often forgotten in the procurement process, but it’s almost certainly your biggest expense. How would your procurement process look if you gave it the weighting it deserves?

Of course, the charity sector benefits from highly dedicated staff, who try to compensate for the failings of IT systems by putting in extra hours unpaid. But that has a huge knock-on effect on their work-life balance, emotional wellbeing and mental health – all of which also affect their productivity.

The Covid-19 effect

The study above was conducted before the pandemic, which has obviously knocked productivity for six.

Over the past year, many charities have been attempting an incredible balancing act: trying to reach more people with less income and fewer staff, many of whom have been on furlough for months.

As we leave lockdown, charity leaders are struggling to balance the books. Meaning, investment in IT might be the last thing on your mind.

But I think that’s a false economy. Instead, you need to invest to grow – and that means giving your staff the tools to do their jobs properly.

Oracle: a multi-purpose platform

What does an average day look like in your office?

Do staff log in to one programme, only to discover they need information from a separate and incompatible database? Do they try to access important data and find they need permission that can only be granted by one member of staff – who’s on holiday? Does work grind to a halt because you’ve forgotten to renew one of your many software subscriptions?

All that time-wasting can be prevented by installing one central system that does everything.

Oracle Service Cloud is an all-in-one system that combines all your office functions into one leading-edge yet simple-to-use platform. Contact centre applications, customer relationship management (CRM) tools, email management – you name it, Oracle does it.

And it’s all easy to access wherever your staff are based, yet totally secure.

Connect Assist consultancy

Of course, IT is only part of the story. You also need to examine your internal processes and workflows to maximise your organisation’s efficiency.

At Connect Assist, we offer consultancy services to work with you on exploring how to boost your productivity. We can benchmark you against other organisations, and help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.

With this groundwork in place, we can also install and configure Oracle to suit your charity’s requirements. Drop us a line today to learn more about using technology to improve efficiency in the workplace!


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