I've been pleasantly surprised that I continue to get many calls for consulting help in these tougher economic times. A lot of the calls in the past 12 months have started out like this: "My sales are down, I haven't been able to cut expenses as quickly as revenues have dropped and I'm starting to show red ink on the bottom line. What should I do?"
Personnel 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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