— March 11, 2019
With all the daily pressures of controlling costs, especially payroll, how can we still be successful, and provide the highest level of service to our customers, even with a smaller workforce?
Here are a few ideas.
The days of “ensuring” great service because you have high staffing levels are long gone. Today, you need higher productivity from a smaller staff. This can only be achieved from a properly trained workforce.
Each employee must receive effective onboarding and job-specific training, so they are fully functioning as soon as they “hit the floor”. No employee can be allowed to flounder in a position without the knowledge and ability to perform their responsibilities.
It goes without saying that training is an ongoing task. Read a past post about what happened when training doesn’t work.
Policies and Procedures
Cost overruns are common in businesses without policies and procedures. Most storerooms have case after case of product destined to sit on a shelf instead of being purchased by the customer. Why did you buy so many of that item? When do you reorder? What is the “par” (a minimum supply required to operate) for your business?
Every employee must know what to do, when to do it, how it should be done, why it’s done, and who is responsible to do it.
The term “A place for everything, everything in its place” has been associated with Benjamin Franklin among others and is easily seen as the heart of an organized business.
No employee can be productive if they cannot locate a specific item needed to service the customer.
Cut Out the Dead Wood
Dead wood is rough, bloated, spindly, and weak. You would never build a house with the leftovers from a successful build and expect your house to be a success too.
The same goes for business. We pick up “dead wood employees” during times of high turnover, rapid expansion, and weak management.
You want only the best, the strongest, and most worthy on your team. Through the years many businesses gain more weak employees who are buoyed by the few strong ones. These strong star players cover for the underperformers littered throughout your organization.
But now, you can’t carry the dead wood. You must pair down your workforce. You can no longer carry the ineffective and unproductive. You must cull the dead wood ruthlessly or risk the star performers feeling unappreciated and undervalued.
Stop the Excuses
Identify your shortcomings, then fix them. Cut out the waste, spend only when needed. Hold your people accountable and make the difficult cuts to staff.
Many challenges lie ahead on your road to success but surely, they can be overcome. Embrace these 5 tactics today and get ready for the ride.