Weather Economic Hardship With Strategic Workforce Management

In times of economic uncertainty, companies can have a difficult task ahead of them when it comes to handling scheduling and productivity. Lay-offs are an unfortunate necessity, and the staff that is left behind must be able to pull the weight of a much larger workforce.

In order to overcome these challenges, strategic workforce management is a vital skill. Here are some tips to help get you started.

1. Avoid over-pruning. Aggressive layoffs may help your bottom line immediately, but if you are removing key people, your whole operation may suffer. Prioritize positions and consider moving key persons to a shorter schedule if necessary to avoid cutting them off entirely.

2. Find other ways to cut your costs. If you have offered a very attractive benefits package, that is now costing your company dearly, consider removing some of these benefits or scaling them back. While employees may rely on these benefits, chances are, they rely on their jobs a whole lot more. Most will be understanding and see that it is better to lose a few benefits rather than their jobs.

3. Find ways to operate smarter. Increasing productivity is often the key to getting out of a slump. Find the position in the chain that needs the most attention – for example, sales. Ratchet up their production and avoid cutting this department unless it is absolutely necessary. Set up monetary performance rewards to encourage employees to produce more.

4. Improve your process. If you have had a lax operation where employees were not held accountable, change this immediately. Make a company-wide announcement that it will no longer be tolerated and enforce your new plan evenly and fairly. Most employees are smart enough to realize that they need to do their jobs, but some will need reminding.

These are just a few ways that you can strategically manage your operation, improve your workforce productivity and reduce economic bleeding within your structure.