Is there a Darren Bent or Theo Walcott in your squad?

For many of you juggling numerous tasks and working every hour, the very notion of being over-staffed is alien. You'd be surprised how quickly and easily that can change, though.

England manager Fabio Capello trimmed his squad from 30 to 23 today, breaking the hearts of seven players whose World Cup dreams are over.
It made me wonder - if your business was preparing for a World Cup, who would be the first names on your team sheet and who would you happily leave behind? Who are the people which, if push came to shove, you could do without?
For many of you juggling numerous tasks and working every hour, the very notion of being over-staffed is alien. You'd be surprised how quickly and easily that can change, though.
By the their nature, start-ups evolve along winded paths and what seemed like a thoroughly responsible position to hire for 12 months ago can quickly become marginalised or less core if the business takes a change of direction.
Redundancies are unpleasant - of course they are. However, it's wrong that so many businesses only tend to assess which staff they really need once they're in trouble and desperately need to cut fixed costs. If they'd indentified waste or inefficiency earlier they mightn't have ended up in such a quandary.
Just as it was Capello's duty, it's yours to remove yourself from the emotional ties you might have with people who've helped you in the earliest days and frequently check you're not carrying any passengers.
Healthy businesses are lean businesses - and that will always involve a degree of fat-trimming. Even better, try to avoid gaining weight in the first place by keeping payroll as low as possible and using freelancers until long term roles are justified. Because redundancy is so unpleasant it's easy to avoid: but ask yourself, are you risking the welfare of many more of your staff at the risk of upsetting the few?
Run regular reviews, set targets and record everything so you've got as much information at your fingertips as possible to know what areas of your business, and notably who is and isn't, performing and paying their way.
Take a look around you now: do you know this? Do you know who contributes to your bottom line most and least? Now imagine you had to trim you squad as Capello did today. If you identify any easy targets you probably need to ask why you're not doing it now.

By their very nature, start-ups evolve along winded paths and what seemed like a thoroughly responsible position to hire for 12 months ago can quickly become peripheral with a shift in direction.

Redundancies are unpleasant - of course they are. However, it's wrong that so many businesses only tend to assess which staff they really need once they're in trouble and desperately need to cut fixed costs. If they'd indentified waste or inefficiency earlier they mightn't have ended up in such a quandary.

Just as it was Capello's duty, it's yours to remove yourself from the emotional ties you might have with people who've helped you in the earliest days and frequently check you're not carrying any passengers.

Healthy businesses are lean businesses - and that will always involve a degree of fat-trimming. Even better, try to avoid gaining weight in the first place by keeping payroll as low as possible and using freelancers until long term roles are justified. Because redundancy is so unpleasant it's easy to avoid: but ask yourself, are you endangering the welfare of many more of your staff at the risk of upsetting the few?

Run regular reviews, set targets and record everything you can so you've got as much information at your fingertips as possible to know what areas of your business are under and over performing and, notably, who is and isn't paying their way.

Take a look around you now: do you know this? Do you know who contributes to your bottom line most and least? Now imagine you had to trim you squad as Capello did today. How easy would it be to make a clear and fair assessment? On the flipside, if you're able to identify any easy targets right away, you probably need to ask why you're not doing it now.

 

 

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