Human Resources: A Top Priority in Tough Times by ProQuest


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         Human Resources: A Top Priority in Tough Times
       I’ve been pleasantly surprised             deeper only makes it harder to dig     municate with your employees. The       ees. This is important all
       that I continue to get many calls          out of it. Review your team today.     bulk of communication is probably       of the time, but especially in
                        for consulting help       Identify your weakest link and, if     face to face, one on one. This is       tough times!
                        in these tougher          you can’t strengthen it, cut it out    good – but it’s not enough. I suggest       ■ Compensating the best. I
                        economic times. A         of there!                              that you have all of the following      submit that if you do each of the
                        lot of the calls in the                                          means of improving how you com-         previously listed four things the
                        past 12 months have       BEING THE BEST                         municate with your employees.           best – and then back that up with a
                        started out like this:    For years I have stated in this            1. Detailed written job             great compensation program – you
                        “My sales are down,       column that there are five             descriptions for each employee.         will not only attract the best people,
                        I haven’t been able       important things you should try        Everyone deserves to know what’s        you’ll keep them.
                        to cut expenses as        to do better than anyone else          expected of them in performing              And yes, if you pay a bit more,
                        quickly as revenues       in the area of Human Resource          their jobs.                             you should expect to receive a bit
 Hank Darlington        have dropped and          Management. Learn to do these              2. Detailed, well-documented        more…in the way of productivity,
                        I’m starting to           five things the best and you will      job performance evaluations.            attitude, teamwork, etc. Establish
                        show red ink on the       enhance your opportunity of being      At least once a year, sit down          realistic, achievable goals for sales,
       bottom line. What should I do?”            the best.                              with each employee and review           margins, closing rations, mistakes,
            My first inclination is to tell          ■ Hire the Best. Take time in       what they do well and then cover        etc. In these bumpy economic
       them, “Start doing now all those           the hiring process to find the very     areas where you believe they can        times, there may need to be some
       things you should have been doing          best candidates possible. In these     improve. Everyone deserves (and         adjustment to a few of these items.
       when times were good.”                     tough times, there are good people     wants to know) how they are             Give each salesperson a monthly
            Generally, I begin by asking          looking for work. Have a good          performing in their job. It is the      report card. It’s true that “you get
       a series of questions to learn             system to review all of the resu-      owner/manager’s responsibility to       what you pay for,” so why not pay
       more and then try to spell out a           més and applications. Be a great       be a good coach and mentor and          more, expect more and get more?
       plan to get the business back on
       a profitable footing. Many of the                                                                                         MANAGING YOUR BUSINESS
       areas that were ignored in the good         Learning how to get your employees to do things                               In addition to these very important
       times, and now in these tougher                                                                                           issues, there are a number of
       times, revolve around good human            because they want to do them is critical, particularly                        things you should be doing in
       resource management. Let’s take                                                                                           the area of general business
       a look at some of the things that           in tough economic times.                                                      management that will help you
       you should be concentrating on in                                                                                         weather the current tougher
       these more challenging times.              interviewer. Have one or two other     the job performance evaluations         economic conditions – and will also
                                                  people at your busine
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