How do companies become bureaucratic

Helpful tips against bureaucracy in the company

A number that gives cause for concern: Between 2010 and 2014, the number of start-ups fell from 417,000 to 309,000. It seems increasingly unattractive to become self-employed. This certainly has to do with the many bureaucratic stones that the state and administration put in the way of potential founders and young entrepreneurs and, incidentally, also hinder established companies.

A study by TNS Emnid on behalf of the software company Sage shows that bureaucracy is actually perceived as a burden. According to this, decision-makers from 400 German companies rate the bureaucracy as high or very high - with an upward trend. Examples of state regulation frenzy from the most recent times: The "documentation obligation for psychological risk assessments" or the "principles for the proper management and storage of books, records and documents in electronic form as well as for data access".

The criticism is justified - and yet it ignores the real problem. The companies create the greater part of their bureaucracy themselves - with complicated vacation requests, travel expense reports, procurement forms to name but a few.

Let's not kid ourselves: The cut in bureaucracy that politicians have repeatedly promised will never come, the number of laws and rules will tend to increase. It is all the more important that entrepreneurs make their processes so efficient and flexible that they don't mind.

Every company is different and yet the more or less the same problems and starting points can be found everywhere. Here are some tips on how to make your company bureaucratic-resistant.

  1. Peter Dewald, Managing Director Germany at Sage Software
    "Practice has shown that the legislature's innovations come just at the end of the year, and then the software manufacturer has little chance of adding them to their software, testing them and activating them before mid-January."
  2. Red tape is a job killer study by Sage Software
    Seven out of ten respondents to the study say that the bureaucratic burden even increased in the last year.
  3. Red tape is a job killer study by Sage Software
    The bureaucracy is a stumbling block for construction projects and investments and also a job killer, says the study. It is often overlooked that market expansion and product development are also impaired.
  4. Red tape is a job killer study by Sage Software
    Nine out of ten respondents in the study consider the bureaucratic burden to be too high. The negative front runner among the burdens are taxes and duties.
  5. J├╝rgen Henke, Managing Director of Metallwerke Renner GmbH in Ahlen, Westphalia
    "Bureaucracy does not only mean constantly filling out forms for minimum wages & Co., but also setting up appropriate processes such as SEPA so that reports and inquiries are filled out correctly."

Tip 1: digitize

Certainly you can think of processes in your company that are not digitized and that could be better solved digitally. For example, some companies keep their vacation lists in Excel, which is not a bad thing. However, it becomes nonsensical if these lists are printed out and archived in hanging files. This is not a made-up example; it happens more often than you think.

An example of how to do it better: In a company, almost all tasks run through several hands, such as requesting a new desk or applying for leave. Who gets to see what and when and has to sign it has often become established over the years - it works, but it is not efficient. When you set up the processes with a workflow designer, you often only notice how superfluous some of the work steps were. This software function is relatively simple, but it helps to define and introduce lean processes. Signing the vacation request is then just a click of the mouse and does not require a paper routing slip.