For some reason as leaders we have it in our heads that work must get done a certain way. Yes, we all embrace expense management tools that keep our costs flexible. We have been educated to use a contingent workforce. A blend of temporaries, contractors, outsourcing or co-sourcing to manage the ebbs and flows of work, and frankly workers, is a necessity today. Peaks and troughs get steeper and come with ever increasing frequency. Leaders need to do anything and everything to keep ahead of the curve.
Yet we have short memories. We have big egos. Leaders never forget the pain and challenge of reducing staff, right? It sticks with us for a long time. Have you ever gone to a funeral and been so moved that you spend days talking about living life to the fullest and that our “problems” of the day are not really problems at all? That lasts for few days… How about your News Years Resolutions? I just saw a statistic that less than 30% of folks are still sticking to their resolutions for the year and it is only 6 weeks into the year. I think you get my point. It is the human condition; we survive by moving on.
We follow a similar path with how we staff our organizations. Successful leaders are optimists. It is how we attract talent, investors, customers. We are successful because of this outlook and view of the world. As things get better we will hire more staff. We will get jazzed and intoxicated about business again. We will take our eye off the payroll and headcount figures we now review weekly.
Right now the US economy is in a recovery, albeit slowly. My words might even seem silly; however things will creep along and continue to improve. Some day you will forget. The time is now to plan to do it differently. Never has their been a better time to keep your business more flexible, adaptable and responsive. We are all testing new business models right? We are driving top line while we micromanage expenses. Your staff has never been more open and accepting of change. Oh, how survival brings people together against there common enemy.
And you know what the workforce expects it. People understand that they must fend for themselves & manage their own careers Clint Eastwood Style, but are you ready to embrace it? Or will traditional mindsets and more about work and careers drive you to repeat the over-hiring mistakes of the past.
The leader than learns the lesson will win. Pure and simple.