The following information was originally published in the Australian Financial Review.
Matt Heine, managing director of ASX listed Netwealth, experienced a sharp increase in working hours when he returned to the office following Covid-19. Time saved on commuting and ‘water-cooler chat’ around the office meant a more sustainable workload for Matt during Covid times, but came rushing back as quickly as it went away.
In an interview with the Australian Financial Review about his ability to ‘slash’ meetings and win back time, Heine says “I’m going to have to free up more time. Otherwise, I’m going to find that [it’s back at] 60 or 70 hours a week, which is not sustainable. That’s where burnout is going to happen for me and executives and all of our staff.”
Matt needed to quickly find a solution for his rapidly expanding workload before burnout set in. It also needed to be sustainable over time, and scalable to help peers and colleagues facing the same concerns.
The Beamible team worked closely with Heine using our proprietary role design methodology involving the following steps:
In Heine’s case, we found he was spending a large amount of time on administration and meetings - two work categories that could easily be delegated to others (and successfully have been since!). There was also significant time being spent on investor relations, another category of work that could easily be delegated.
This process allowed him to work ‘at the top of his license,’ which is just a clever way of saying he was better able to focus on the work that can be done best by captialising on his experience and skill set, and removing work that is either low-value or can be done by other less-senior employees.
As a secondary outcome, it became clear that there was a great need for an Executive Assistant role to be created - even if shared across other executives - to help provide support in these work categories. Heine knew if he was spending this much time on administration and in meetings, it was likely his other executive peers were too, and could use the same additional support. The role design process and scenario planning within Beamible acted as a clear, visual and compelling business case to create this new role. It has since been implemented and paying dividends as reported by the Netwealth team.
Finally, and perhaps the most important outcome to ensure sustainability, was giving Heine and his team visibility and awareness into how he spent his time. This information helps keep Heine focused on the most impactful and important work, and allows him to consciously delegate, pause or stop work that isn’t driving business outcomes.
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