Millions of individuals have had to learn how to be more frugal in terms of material consumption and managing costs with minimized capital, and those in the corporate sphere are being forced to do so, as well. Many company managers, owners, and executives have found their businesses unwillingly forced to do more with less as the subsequent repercussions of the Great Resignation of 2021 continue to have an impact on workplaces both large and small.
The “less” that businesses have to do more with is not limited to just the number of employees, either. Companies are encountering the issue of having fewer on-hand materials available for manufacturing and production due to disrupted or disappearing supply chains. They also see lower profits because consumers have not only reduced their spending on non-essential purchases but have also scaled down other factors of their shopping choices, like how often and where they spend money, too.
If your company is dealing with shortages of staff, supplies, or sales, you don’t need to take the hit to your profitability lying down. Face the challenges head-on and use these six proven ways to do more with less and boost your company’s success:
- Rather than downsizing your goals like your company may have been forced to downsize in many other areas, raise the bar and reach for the sky. When you set goals that are easily reached, you make it easy to say you’ve accomplished something, but that “something” may not be doing much to increase your business stability and longevity. Easy-to-achieve goals also incubate an unmotivated atmosphere in the workplace because no one feels energized or inspired to aim high and shoot higher. Challenge yourself and your staff to refocus on goal attainment, improve strategies for prioritizing and accomplishing tasks, and enhancing time management and teamwork by setting goals that are unrealistic. Sometimes telling someone they’ll never reach an unrealistic goal is the best way to get them to dig in, get creative, and make sure they can and do reach it.
- Ferret out and utilize the skills and experience already at your disposal. Whether your company cross-trains employees in other areas of your business or not, chances are you already have staff members who have the skills and experience to successfully switch titles or job duties. Learn more about the abilities and potential of your existing employees, shuffle staff around to handle department needs, production quotas, or scheduling deficits, and get more work done with fewer gaps in your staffing needs.
- Avoid the temptation to fast-track your training processes for new hires or reduce ongoing training for existing employees, and ensure that your training programs exceed standards for what is “necessary.” Companies are having a harder time recruiting new hires, facing higher turnover and lower retention levels than previously encountered, and are spending less time and money on continuing education and/or training for existing employees. An in-depth and high-quality training program creates a team of knowledgeable and highly skilled workers who have higher morale, greater investment in their position and company, a stronger sense of personal pride in their daily accomplishments, and who are more motivated to do the best job they can do no matter how big or small their assigned tasks may be.
- Encourage the sharing of ideas for the betterment of the business. While most companies have an employee handbook of some type that includes an “open-door policy,” a large number of those companies don’t put that policy into practice with any sort of sincerity or genuine interest. Also, in most cases, open-door policies typically refer to addressing grievances, deficiencies, or other negative aspects of business operations and personnel interaction. Revamp your company’s “open-door policy” to one that encourages, appreciates, and gives serious consideration to suggestions and ideas from any and all staff members who want to offer their perspective on doing old tasks in new ways to boost productivity, efficiency, or profitability.
- Create action plans that result in real action. It’s easy for anyone to come up with a list of priorities for accomplishing goals and an action plan for tackling those priorities – but how often are those plans followed by genuine effort and real results? When you are trying to do more with less, you don’t have to make endless lists of things you want to get done; you have to create relevant and targeted lists with actionable steps that consistently move your employees toward their end goals.
- Eliminate labels, definitions, and titles in the workplace as much as possible. An employee who is an Administrative Assistant by title may decline to do the job of someone whose title is Accounts Payable, Public Areas Attendant, or Talent Acquisition Coordinator by saying, “it’s not my job.” In reality, even though some people may be specifically trained to accomplish certain work-related tasks and others are not, everyone works for the same company, and therefore everything is potentially their job, even if they don’t get asked or expected to do it on a regular basis (if at all). Labels, titles, and definitions force people or positions into neatly-wrapped packages and leave little room for creativity, motivation, personal expansion, or outside-the-box thinking. When you eliminate those restrictions and only expect the end result from your staff rather than placing expectations on how they achieve it, you will likely be amazed at what gets done.
All businesses want their employees to do the best job possible, whether that job relates to creating a product, coming up with and selling an idea, or taking care of the company or its customers in other ways. As doing the best job gets harder because of smaller staff size, dysfunctional logistics, and other factors, you can apply these six steps to your business to do more with less and be much better off because of it.