5 More Ways to Think Straight & Save Your Company Part 3
Communication, Cooperation and Consideration.
Saving a company cannot be done alone. Your personal and business relationships will all be tested to the limit as you battle to save the company.
5 Things You Just Have To Do:
1. Keep Your Enemies Close
Don Corleone said that you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer still.
His intentions were somewhat more macabre but there is a lot of truth in what he said. At times during the battle to save your company you may have disagreements and even arguments, but you should always endeavour to act professionally and calmly. You will need the cooperation of your family, your staff, your suppliers, customers, and financial authorities including banks and other lenders to get through this difficult period. So, whilst you may disagree on some issues, always end meetings positively and keep the lines of communication open even if you don’t always get what you need.
2. Cut jobs, but do it fairly.
You are dealing in peoples lives, livelihoods and wellbeing as an employer. In previous tips I have advocated not being sentimental, but that does not mean you have to be unfair or cruel. Some companies take weeks and weeks to go through a vigorous redundancy process I do not believe this is necessary and it make everyone nervous, even resentful, and potentially creates a very negative and unhelpful atmosphere. I completed a redundancy process, perfectly legally in five days. It was certainly tough on the people who lost their jobs, but it was swift and we could all move on to the next stage. It also meant that staff could concentrate on working for the company and rebuilding it, rather than dragging out the worry and stress.
3. Build A New Team
Major changes will result in a new dynamic within the company. You need to harness this opportunity to re-orientate your staff where necessary. Allocate new responsibilities, offer some rewards and incentives to bring on staff in new positions. There may well still be a nervousness and so positive news is needed to re-build confidence.
4. Do Not Let Quality Slip
Henry Ford said that quality means doing it right when no one is looking. Of course he is right because ultimately poor quality will be found out by the customer. Continue to work as if the customer is standing there watching. We used to say that the factory had to be operating as if the customer was about to walk through the door. We put in place TS16949 and it was during the rescue phase of running the business that this paid dividends and was never a burden. Making it right first time, every time means far fewer costs down the line, especially at a time when you can ill afford repairs and return costs.
5. Walk Away
Occasionally just walk away from the day to day activity. You can’t solve the all the problems
by stepping into the furnace. Step back and observe things quietly and logically. This doesn’t mean a week in the Seychelles, but it might mean having an early finish and going to a local pub (Covid-not-withstanding) with a colleague or partner and just reflecting on progress. Take a moment to think about yourself. Then, if the battle is still worth fighting, carry on.
KCBC November 2020