Getting More from Fewer People – Part I

Millions of people have been displaced from their jobs in the last few years, because of this; many businesses had put a freeze on spending, hiring, consulting, and any new projects. With what objective in mind? To preserve the bottom-line. Was it successful? Not in most cases. In fact, what usually happens is that employees are de-motivated.  Employees create their own “job-security” by slowing down, on-going training and development comes to a standstill, outside experts are no longer consulted, and projects that are necessary to reach corporate goals are delayed or scrubbed completely.  And, the bottom-line still suffers!  These, companies become like scared animals, they freeze and choose not to move thinking this will preserve them alive.  What it actually does is make them easy prey for their smart competitors.  They forget that, in order to come out of tough times ahead of their competition, they must create a strategy for taking advantage of opportunities during poor economic times and then execute that strategy with pinpoint precision so that they position themselves to take advantage of opportunities that their competition will miss out on.  This is especially true of their most expensive and most valuable asset…their people.

There are five ways to get more from the people that you currently have on staff, any new people you may to hire, and even from those employees you may still have to down-size. Let’s take a brief look at the first two of these five areas to understand how companies can increase their profits and readiness to compete on a global scale, not just survive a down-cycle, and come out a winner.

NUMBER ONE: Get more from your Management Team.

Your management team has a huge impact on your company’s performance at any time, but during economic hardships, not only do they need to perform well, they have to perform well. So, how can you get more from them so that you can cascade a high level of performance throughout your organization? You need to have a way to quantify their competencies. Would you agree that they need to communicate well?  Provide strong leadership? Improve themselves and their Direct Reports? Can be adaptable to change? Maintain good relationships? Be cohesive as a team? Absolutely! So, to get more from your management team, now is the time to get a better assessment of the people on that team, highlight their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Your company’s profitability and productivity will improve through top-notch managers and leaders.

NUMBER TWO: Get more from fewer employees.

Employees who are de-motivated by seeing their peers down-sized may create their own “job-security” through lowered production. Even worse, those that have options, your top performers, will look to use their talents and skills with a company that may offer more of what they want in an employer, such as feeling they actually contribute to the company, that they are valued, or that they get a chance to belong.  To meet the this challenge, what would it mean to know each employee’s productivity style, their ability to work within a team, their natural quality of work, the degree of initiative they will take, and their ability to solve problems?  Further, would it help to get a grasp of what behaviors to expect to see when they are under continued stress, frustration, & conflict?  Or, with money being a poor motivator anyway, can you envision knowing how and what motivates your people to perform at their top-level day-in-&-day-out? Finally, what would it be worth to you to know how engaged your employees are mentally, emotionally, physically, and from a values standpoint?

With our eye on helping you make your company the top competitor in your industry, we’ll discuss the final three points on getting more from fewer people in Part II.