Irrespective of how ‘uncertain’ times are and how difficult it is to get the business in or make the sale, or how much you have downscaled the expenses, the fact of the matter is that you have to keep your staff motivated if you want to still get the business in and the orders processed. Clearly I am not talking only of the sales staff here!
Here’s the thing, if you have cut back and trimmed away as much as you should have and tightened your belt as far as it can be tightened, then most if not all of your staff have taken over some (if not all) of the duties of the staff who have left and usually for no additional remuneration. That means that you need to implement some sort of reward system to motivate them. This is where you have to get creative, as you may not be able to reward them financially. There are many perks that don’t necessarily cost the company a lot of money but could have huge beneficial implications to the staff. Things like, introducing flexitime, so that they spend less time in traffic and therefore have more quality family time or even, if it can be done, allowing them to work from home. This could result in you renting out your excess office space and your staff member spending less on fuel and toll fees – a win/win situation, I am sure you will agree. Rather get rid of the ‘dead wood’ and poor performers and reward those who have invested themselves in your company and who work effectively and efficiently. Poor performers and ‘dead wood’ take up a huge amount of management time and ultimately increase costs in more ways than one.
One of the quickest ways to decrease costs and increase productivity is to ensure that your operational costs are kept to a minimum. Machinery should be well and regularly maintained to optimise efficient use and processes implemented and properly managed to ensure that both quantity and quality of output. This should also be measured to ensure that it is of the highest standard. Regular review of processes and procedures to ensure that they are both effective and efficient and that they comply with legislation will also ensure that workflow output is optimised and constant and that fines or penalties are not levied against you for non-compliance.
Finally, “always keep your enemies close”. Make sure that you know what your competition is doing to ensure that you are doing things better, more efficiently and more effectively. Make sure that your always give value for money and that you operate from a place of integrity and honestly with your clients, your suppliers and your staff.
In your Business – honesty really is the best policy!