Small changes lead to big benefits

Even quite small improvements to the way you work add up to big efficiency gains and better results. It makes sense to do a simple audit of the things you do regularly and identify ways to improve. For example, making small changes to a checklist means mistakes and omissions are avoided, saving time for you to use on productive tasks. In this Video Tips vlog and associated article, Catherine shares practical ideas for winning big gains from tiny improvements, whatever the nature of your work.

Stressed at the office

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Small incremental improvements to our ways of working lead to big benefits over time. Marginal Gains Theory shows that tiny improvements generate big gains when sustained over weeks and months. And continuous improvement processes mean that we can always find ways of saving a few minutes here and there, increasing sales, improving quality or building more efficient operations.

Do you get stressed at work?

How often are you stressed at work? And how well do you think you handle it? Sometimes, it can feel like there’s just too much to cram into one single day. Having too many thoughts can be overwhelming and feel like an internal burden, so we get easily distracted from other tasks. It can even be difficult to complete just one task, simply because we’re so spending so much time mentally worrying about the long list of others. Watch the vlog for Alice’s tips on how to deal with your heavy workload and combat stress.

Stressed at the office

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How often do you feel stressed at work? Every day? Once a week? Maybe, if you’re lucky, just once in a blue moon? At one time or another you will have felt stressed at work. It might be because you’re late for a meeting or you’re feeling unwell. Or it might be because of the most common reason: the belief that you have too much to do.

No blame gains

Why waste energy on the damaging blame-game when ‘no blame’ means everyone gains? When errors aren’t tolerated in an organisation people learn to cover up their mistakes and point their finger at others. Mistakes are repeated, leading to stress which results in more errors…  A blame-free culture where people are comfortable about being frank about their mistakes and about how they intend to rectify them, leads to a virtuous learning cycle where everyone benefits from the shared information. Watch this vlog to see what practical steps you can take to promote this approach.

Blame No-blame

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‘Lessons will be learned’ is an often-repeated phrase trotted out by government ministers and heads of organisations when things have gone dreadfully wrong. In this short article we explore the importance of action rather than words in developing a genuinely blame-free working environment, where people are open about making, correcting and sharing the learning from their mistakes.

Prevent mistakes in your emails

Have you ever sent an email and suddenly realised you've made a mistake? This creates unwanted stress and means you waste time correcting the problem. Nobody intends to make mistakes, but all too often they occur because you haven’t checked the content with the right mindset. This vlog explores how to improve attention to detail and spot errors before they create unforeseen problems. Getting things right first time improves customer relationships and your own productivity. Give this a watch!

Email mistakes

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Check out our Accuracy Asides blog to explore the topic of preventing mistakes in emails. Mistakes waste time and annoy customers. We investigate simple, useful tips for how to check your messages and get the content right first time. By being alert to the possibility of error and checking with the right mindset, you avoid mistakes in your emails and save time.

Why do I forget things?

We’ve all done it. Forgotten to do something important we intended to do. A momentary distraction or an unexpected interruption causes us to lose our train of thought and we forget the very thing that was uppermost in our minds a short while ago! And it’s probably very much later in the day that something jolts us into remembering the thing we’d forgotten to do. Omitting to do things is one of the most common causes of error that we get asked about. Human beings are evolved to be distractible and human memory works best only when prompted. This vlog explores how the human brain is good at recognition but not at recollection.

Don't forget

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Our short article on the Accuracy Asides blog explores this topic further, investigating the reasons for forgetfulness and providing practical insights into how to remember to do things. By learning how to be ‘present-minded’ and by employing tools to stay on track, it’s possible to generate your own triggers to optimise recollection and minimise forgetfulness.

Do people get your name wrong?

Getting your name wrong touches a nerve. You notice. Immediately. It matters that people get our name correct. And there are usually consequences when people get it wrong. Repercussions range from mild embarrassment to serious delays and inconvenience. We know of a medical case when a patient’s name was nearly, but not entirely, correct – and only a vigilant pharmacist prevented a medical emergency. At a fundamental level your name matters because it is who you are – and it’s polite to get your name right! We explore some of these themes and what you can do to get people’s name correct in our vlog. Take a look.

Accuracy test – names

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As well as the vlog, there’s a fun accuracy test so you can rate your own ability to get people’s names right. Why not download and share it with your colleagues too, to see how people score? And for tips on why mistakes happen when we’re using other people’s names, and what you can do to make sure you get them right, read our article, ‘Do people get your name wrong?’ We’ve had more response to this posting than any other!