Profit Improvement and People

I went to a fascinating talk yesterday on improving profit. The Speaker Robert Craven was very clear, very focussed and practical.

He spoke about how simply reducing the cost base, or discounting to get more business will not generate more profit of itself. One element of his talk was about improving the performance of or removing individuals who fail to perform. Too true.

Yet many businesses hesitate when faced with this moment. They know ‘Joe’ is really not doing what needs to be done or ‘Jane’ is marking time and not making a real contribution. Hedged about with instructions and processes from a real of imaginary ‘HR’ department a boss’s heart is bound to sink when faced with taking action.

People and processes do matter in a business but the truth is:

    If you allow underperformers to draw money and resource from your business you will reduce customer satisfaction, staff satisfaction AND profitability for as long as you do it.

  • If the problem is that your jobs are wrongly designed so no-one can succeed, or under-resourced for the task, you can tackle that.
  • If the problem is your people don’t know what you want them to do , you can tackle that.
  • If the problem is your people aren’t properly skilled to do what is needed, you can tackle that.

But there will always be a few where this is no ‘magic cure’ or even an ordinary one. Most of us have made mistakes in recruiting people; people we hoped would help us grow our business who turned out to do nothing, or worse still, harm. Have you ever had one of these?

If you walked into work today and your staff were giving £50 notes to each of your customers and asking them to go to a rival, you wouldn’t tolerate it for a moment. Yet often as not businesses have individual staff members in them who are effectively doing that very thing.

You know you are not the perfect leader or boss – though you are doing your best, but somehow you put off tackling this – the ‘dark side of HR’ . You patiently fill in the gaps yourself and work longer hours, or hire other people to do what this person should be doing. You sense it is not the right solution but somehow it seems the only practical one as you dread complex processes and procedures.

Talk to us. We have a great ‘try before you buy’ offer. Let’s see what we can do for you by listening to you for 20 minutes.

Our approach is both profoundly commercial and practical, whilst respecting the sensibilities of your organisation and teams. You’d be surprised how quickly some of the things you are worrying about this weekend can turn into problems in the past. You could save yourself a lot of time and energy if you let us help you tackle this problem. Our service is confidential, discreet and focussed on your business and commercial needs. For 30 years we have been working behind the scenes to solve these problems.

Tel: 08452 303050,





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Filed under employment law, performance management

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