Doing More with Less…Staff

Doing More With Less

As a manager you follow mandates to reduce staff, reassign duties and assure your now slightly-overwhelmed employees that remain, they are now more valuable. Along with the affirmation, you provide new expectations. Then go back into your office, close the door, turn on some music to distract yourself and return to your duties as a hard-working manager.  Piece of cake.  Right?

One can assume that, “sure they will buckle down and plow forward”. You tell yourself you need not to worry that your remaining employees are now wondering and worried about…

  • The state of the company?
  • What exactly is management thinking?
  • Their job security?
  • How will I possibly handle all the work without burning out?

But if you care, and you should, you do worry about them, as they are a big part of your success.  Certainly, doing more with less and a disheartened team is no piece of cake.  On the flipside, it’s never easy to let talent go.  It’s not easy to know most projects are being done in less than optimal fashion but are done because they need to be.  It’s not easy to plan long-term, knowing that there is a very good chance your people are thinking about or actually looking elsewhere.

So is there anything a manager can do that can positively impact your team, made up of normally dedicated and hardworking people, and return them to actually believing that you, and the company, know what they are doing?

Besides playing closed-door psychiatrist, there certainly there is! It’s time to clean out the proverbial closet and decide which projects and revenue opportunities are most important to foster growth and profitability for the business.  It’s time to weed out the projects that, even if easy, won’t add to the bottom line. It’s time to focus on fewer mandates.

Once you have set your priorities, then it is time to effectively communicate them…

  • Justify: to your employees why one task is giving way to another more profitable one.
  • Assure: your team that their talents are best suited to making your path a successful one.
  • Explain: why you believe that brighter days are coming and success will happen with focus.
  • Show: them that you are passionate about your choices and truly believe in them.

So try not to view this situation as a glass half full or half empty scenario. Picture it as which glasses to fill with what ingredients to make the cake taste better.

Read our last post on, Why a Distributor is a Partner, Not a Customer.