When economic times start to get tough, businesses clearly have to start thinking about the different ways that they might be able to cut costs. As the expenses associated with employing staff typically take a huge bite out of company budgets, of course laying off employees often can’t be ignored as an option. Staff lay-offs though, cause huge disruption and can have highly detrimental effects on the productivity of remaining workers. Another alternative which is extremely worthwhile considering, however, is making sure that you have all of your square pegs in square holes within the organization and juggling staff whose skills could be better utilized elsewhere in the business.
Assessing staff competencies and reassigning workers to different roles essentially tackles the same problem of needing to increase profitability, but from a different angle. While it might not do anything to reduce costs, it can bring about a huge increase in productivity when you ensure that you really do have everyone doing the things that they are best at. Yes, it might involve some re-training and that might initially come at a cost, but often the learning curve is much less steep because existing workers are already familiar with the organization and so they are not starting entirely from scratch.
In most businesses, there usually isn’t any need to reassess the fit of every worker with his or her current role, and focusing only on certain key roles or only on a certain level within the organization is often enough to realize a considerable increase in productivity. You might, for example, decide to carry out assessment tests to test the skills of the managers within your company, including the account managers who are so important in terms of increasing levels of business. In doing so, you could well find that all it takes to make a huge difference is to juggle around one or two managers whose skills and abilities make them better suited to other positions, rather than letting any of your staff go.
Laying staff off leaves an extremely bad taste in the mouths of those staff who are retained, and sometimes it can take years for companies to recover from lay-offs. Before taking what is a pretty drastic measure, consider making sure that the key people in your organization are all using their skills and abilities to best effect and in the right roles.