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  • Case studies

    Process and resource optimisation can entail many things and has different meanings to different people. We have therefore put together some case studies to help you see the potential in process and resource optimisation and what it can do for you and your company. However, there is much more that can be done than what is mentioned here, so you can always contact us for a free consultation to see how we will be able to assist you with your specific challenge.

    Data collation

    Anna seen from the right and behind looking at a computer screen. The screen is showing two bar charts and a small pie chart.

    As a sales team lead Anna is responsible for creating the monthly productivity report for her department. These reports are a big source of workplace stress for Anna. The reports, created in MS PowerPoint, require her to collate various productivity data from each team member and present the overall productivity as well as breakdowns in various charts and diagrams for the management’s monthly meeting. The report has to be finished by the end of the first Thursday of the following month, meaning she has at best four working days to complete the report. Months starting on a Thursday make for a workplace stress challenge for Anna and these months she usually ends up working late into the night in order to complete the report. These reports tend to have less insightful analysis and more errors.

    We would help Anna by creating tailored software automising the process from data collation to diagrams for the presentation. As the company Anna works for uses MS Office we would provide the tailored software within this framework.

    Invoicing

    Bendicht seen from the right and behind looking at a computer screen. The screen is showing a calendar with many different coloured appointments.

    Bendicht is a self-employed graphic designer and at the end of the month he invoices his clients on an hourly rate, based on every started 15 minutes. He keeps track of the time he spends on each client in his Google Calendar. Unfortunately this means that, at the end of the month, he has little time left over for his clients and his core business. This as he has to go through the monthly record counting how much time he has spent on each client each day, sum it all up, calculate the invoicing sum and create the invoice with the right invoicing details for each client. Bendicht feels that this causes him a lot of stress as the projects he works on don’t pause just because it is time for him to do the invoices.

    We would help Bendicht by providing him with an automised invoicing system, tailored software, providing him with ready-to-be-sent invoices in PDF files. As Bendicht uses Gsuite for his admin we would provide the invoicing system within this framework.

    Hotel reception

    Cora facing the camera standing in front of a reception desk supporting her right arm on its surface.

    Cora is a manager of a boutique hotel that during the last year has received some rather damaging reviews online in relating to the hotel reception and its staff. The reviewers have been complaining about having to wait too long to check in and out as well as the receptionists not always being very friendly and polite. Cora knows that the reception has a high staff turnover and has attributed the bad reviews to new employees not meeting the expected standard in their first few weeks. But now that the hotel owner is raising concerns, Cora has to take action. She believes the issues might be stress related for the new staff. However, as all hotel receptions are busy at times and other similar hotels doesn’t get the same kind of reviews, she doesn’t believe this is the full explanation. There must be something that can be done differently to optimise customer care and reduce the stress experienced by the receptionists.

    We would help Cora analyse what in the work environment might be an underlying cause of the bad reviews as well as the high staff turnover in the reception. High staff turnover is often a sign of a bad working environment and stress can be a big part of that. We would then, if we conclude their issues are likely to be stress related, recommend countermeasures and continue in accordance with our business process

    Dante, facing the camera, is sitting at a meeting table talking with two employees. The three persons form the corners of a triangle. Dante is gesticulating with his hands while talking and are looking at the employee siting to his left.

    Dante is the CEO of a medium-sized business and has received word that one of the employees, Dieter, will be returning to part-time work after an extended stress-related sick leave. In order to make sure Dieter will not return to the same stressful working conditions he asks PRO Services to evaluate the role form a workplace stress perspective. Dieter works with administrative duties in a small team lead by one of four managers in the company.

    We would help Dante by interviewing the employees that are currently performing Dieters work in order to get to know what responsibilities Dieters role entails and find possible sources of stress. If possible we would also talk to Dieter to hear his view on what is causing him most stress at work. Dieters views would be important, especially if the stress comes more from colleagues or the management style of his manager, as no one else will have the same perspective of the role or situation as he does.

    If we find that the stress stem from his work responsibilities and tasks, we would focus on finding solutions that free up time for Dieter without shifting work load onto other employees. Such solutions could be to fully or partly automate recurring tasks by the aid of macros as well as finding ways to optimise and structure work processes in a different way to reduce the time Dieter needs to spend on each of them. To manage stress that seems to come from the psychological work environment, such as low decision latitude, low work control or poor interpersonal relations at work we would sugest countermeassures what could amend these issues to Dante. As Dante is the CEO of the company he is the one responsible and all management decisions have to be made by him. Depending on what exactly is the reason for the psychological stress, we would suggest possible countermeasures to Dante and outline the various reasoning behind our suggestions.

    Underperformance in a team

    Eeske is sitting at the head of a meeting table facing the camera. She is looking at the two employees to her left, a man and a woman, and are pointing at papers she is holding up for the employees to see.

    Eeske is a sales manager of a medium-sized business who is struggling since their lead sales person left for another company. The sales department is now consistently underperforming. The goals set are not unrealistic and Eeske is struggling to understand what is causing the underperformance. However, she has noticed that many of the team members, despite putting in very long working hours, just don’t see any results. As many of the teams members work overtime and are not producing the results to match, the situation is most likely affected and possibly caused by workplace stress.

    We would help Eeske analyse what is going on by observing the team at work, conduct confidential interviews with each individual and then helping her and her team chose the right countermeasures and put them in place. This might sound like a clear case: Either the goals are too high, despite what Eeske thinks, or the team members must be surfing rather than working. However, there can be many other reasons for a team to suddenly underperform when a key member leaves it.

    Retirement

    Ferdi and a colleague are sitting at a desk facing the camera. On the desk are some papers, a metal cylinder and a laptop. The laptop is facing away from the camera. Ferdi is pointing at the screen while explaining something to his colleague.

    Ferdi is about to retire from the company after 30 years in the same position in a small business. He fills an important role in the company and the management expects it will be hard to find a suitable candidate to take over after him. Almost all of Ferdis knowledge and expertise is undocumented and when he leaves he will take all that knowledge with him. In order to give themselves time to find the right candidate the management team asks PRO Services for help. Our approach would be a solution that allows the management to find and prepare the right candidate for the job.

    We would work together with Ferdi for a period of time and write Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) based on what we observe and Ferdi teaches us. After Ferdi has reviewed the procedures these would be tested and improved where needed. The final test would be for us to perform Ferdis job for a period of time under his supervision but by the guidance of the SOPs. Any corrections of the SOPs needed after this final test will be done by Ferdi. This will provide as stress-free transition as possible for the company and give them the time they need to find the right candidate for the role.

    Your needs

    What are your and your employees’ needs when it comes to reducing work-related stress? How would you envision the stress reduction in your company? Get in touch and we will help you figure out the best way for your business to reduce workplace stress levels, and help you implement the changes.