I was recently taking the LRT (train) here in Calgary and noticed a repair crew working on the train platform.

There were three people: one with a hoe, one with a chipper shovel and one with a corn broom.

Two watched while one person worked. The guy with the hoe would pull off a loose tile, the guy with the chipper would chip out the mortar and the guy with the broom would sweep up the debris. The two not currently busy would carry on a conversation.

While it is easy to pick on these kinds of industries, it is more valuable to try to learn from others.

Does your business provide the right tools to your employees so they can be productive most of the time?

Do you have some employees waiting on the inputs of others before they can do their work?

Do you have opportunities to cross train employees to perform additional roles so that you can move people around to adapt to changing priorities?

Do you have incentives in place to reward efficiencies?

Do you have hiring practices in place to bring on people who can generate efficiencies and do you give them the authority to implement them? (People with passion for their work.)

These are all part of optimizing your business.