Effective management of people and their talent is critical to business profitability. Following are three people-related strategies to improve your bottom line during these strange and challenging times:
- Increase revenues. Increasing revenues won’t solve all financial problems, but with a few exceptions, it will significantly help most. Are you focusing firm efforts on increasing sales? Have you explored new client needs your firm can meet? Do your employees have the skills to attract new clients and acquire new business with existing clients? Do they have the knowledge, resources and support services they need to help improve your firm’s top line? If Sink or Swim is your development strategy, you’re unnecessarily increasing your expenses and decreasing your revenues.
- Improve productivity. You can improve your firm’s productivity by helping people identify and utilize their greatest strengths, whether working virtually or in person. Research shows that when people work to their strengths and work through or around their weaknesses, they become more effective, engaged and satisfied. Engaged employees are more productive, which leads to higher profitability. Do your people work to their strengths? Do they know how to delegate to strengths? Do your managers know how to manage to strengths? Do your teams utilize complementary strengths? If you’re ignoring strengths, you’re not getting the best your people have to offer.
- Manage wage and salary expenses. If you must reduce your firm’s wage and salary expenses, there are some ways to do so short of layoffs. Consider offering unpaid leaves, reduced hours and/or reduced goal and salary arrangements. If you choose to offer – even encourage – programs with reduced hours, it’s imperative that you a) create ways to keep people connected and b) celebrate those who help the firm by accepting these alternative options. Are you making appropriate efforts to stay connected with people who are working on a reduced schedule? Are you fully appreciating them or is there a culture of second-class in your firm, conscious or otherwise? Many highly motivated professionals will choose alternative arrangements, thus reducing wage and salary expenses, given the need and opportunity.
Business is all about people. Managing and leading people effectively, providing them with the knowledge, training, support and recognition they need to succeed for themselves and your firm, is critical to your bottom line and long-term success.