August 1, 2014

Cut Your Costs, Not Your Employee Morale

When companies have to tighten the purse strings (which most must do, as the economy continues to trudge along), employees can become discouraged, frustrated, less productive, and more likely to jump ship. With talent at an all-time premium in most every industry, losing well-trained and highly-skilled employees isn’t an option. Here’s how your business can trim expenses, without damaging employee morale and losing valuable workers.

Keep Communications Open

It’s not always readily obvious what the consequences of certain cost-cutting measures might be. Sometimes what seems like a sensible way to save is hindering someone’s ability to do their job properly. Talk to employees before cutting out services they depend on, such as their virtual assistant, and allow them to make alternate suggestions if they feel they can save the same amount of money in a way that hinders their work less.

Outsource Non-Critical Jobs

Outsourcing is less costly than hiring people, and also allows you to do the same work with less work space. Outsourcing also reduces the amount of training you have to provide, and frees workers to concentrate on mission-critical tasks. Great outsourcing resources are call centers, accounting firms, IT services, clerical services, and human resources. Hire outside firms to take over these assignments, and you’ll be able to do more with the workers you’ve got.

Reward Great Ideas

Upper management rarely understands the work flow the way the folks in production do. But these workers won’t give you their brilliant ideas if they’re afraid you won’t like them. Before making broad-sweeping changes, for which you aren’t entirely sure of the consequences, get input from the people doing the work every day. Give them incentives for finding ways to cut costs, such as an extra personal day, a fancy lunch on the company dime, or a pay bonus.

It’s impossible to cut costs significantly without having employees make some sacrifices. Just make sure that their sacrifices are appreciated and respected by the company. Never underestimate the power of a heartfelt “thank you.