For those of you who never took, or slept through High School Latin, Mater Artium Necessitas means “Necessity is the Mother of Invention.”
Often, necessity is the mother of lots of things. Here’s how necessity helped with improving employee productivity for a quick-serve restaurant where the lunch period represented more than 60% of all revenues. In other words, “lunch time was crunch time.”
The restaurants physical lay-out, equipment and operating system required 13 employees to serve over 300 meals during the peak revenue period. Each employee was well trained, knew his or her specific role and worked well as part of a team. The owners were convinced that a lunch period couldn’t run smoothly without 13 employees. That is until 1 person called in sick!
A quick meeting was held with the entire team to ensure that things would go smoothly during lunch. Adjustments were made and no one missed a beat. In a debrief meeting with employees after lunch everyone remarked how smoothly things had gone. 12 was now the magic number. That is until another employee left for school.
Same drill, same result. 11 was now the magic number. By this time the owners started challenging their systems (the Mother of Invention hadn’t raised dummies). Employees gave their input, processes were simplified and after several months the same revenue period was staffed with 8 employees.
Waste, inefficiency and labor hours were reduced while at the same time wages were increased for the remaining team members. Employee morale was up, customers remained happy and profits increased.
What event could lead you to your Mother of Invention?