A Win-Win for Everyone in the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation System: How to Increase Productivity without Working Harder

November 13, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

When policy analysts, insurance companies, employers, and employees come together to work on problems with the North Carolina workers’ compensation system, they inevitably look at things like cost control, red tape cutting, and the elimination of fraud. But the experts often overlook global solutions that could yield profound good for every entity in the system. This essay takes a look at some mechanisms that employers and employees can institute at their workplaces to boost productivity and efficiency without making employees work harder or longer.

This may sound like an impossibility. But good research suggests that these principles can be broadly applied to serious benefit for North Carolina workers’ compensation professionals.

1. The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule)

A 19th Century economist named Pareto made the observation that 80% of systems often divide according to a kind of 80/20 principle. 20% of people in a population will own 80% of the population’s wealth, for instance. Similarly, 20% of the activities that you do at work will generate 80% of your profits. And so on. A careful deployment of the 80/20 rule in your office can eliminate time wasting and potentially dangerous repetitive activities and replace them with productive activities that generate more profit and create less of a strain on workers.

2. Parkinson’s Law

As author Tim Ferriss points out in his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, “Parkinson’s Law” is an excellent companion to the 80/20 rule. What this law states basically is that a task will fill up the amount of time allotted for it. So if you ask an employee to do a report in six hours, he will finish that report in six hours. If you ask him to do it in two hours, he will finish it in two hours. And the difference in quality between those two results will actually be surprisingly quite negligible. This may be counterintuitive, but Parkinson’s Law does bear out in many different cases, at least anecdotally. So you could use this principle to streamline machining processes, prevent workers from typing too much, and limiting the amount of hours and energy you put into dangerous activities, such as scaffolding work on a construction site (for instance).

3. Get People Talking

The best solutions to workplace dangers often come from the people closest to the problems. Corporate management in the United States – and in North Carolina – tends to work on a top down level. In other words, the CEOs and other high executives dictate terms to the people lower on the food chain. But this kind of practice leads companies to turn a blind eye to persistent ground level problems. If these problems could be solved, not only would the company benefit, but the employees would also get more control over their activities and hours and enjoy their work more – and be less at risk for workplace injuries.

If you’ve been hurt at work – or if one of your co-workers needs help – you should look to a qualified North Carolina workers’ compensation law firm to discuss strategies and tactics to get benefits in a timely fashion.

Developing an efficient and resourceful response to your workers’ comp problems is almost certainly doable, and the faster you get good guidance, the faster you will be able to resolve the stress associated with your injury and recovery and move on with your life.

More Web Resources:

Pareto Principle

Parkinsons Law