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With the change of season just around the corner, it’s a good time to do a thorough assessment of your staff, and staffing generally. Looking at employee performance at the beginning of each new season is a great discipline that stops managers from becoming complacent or forgetting about the big picture.

Carrying staff who are underperforming, or underworked, is a huge drain on profitability, and not just because hours are being paid for that shouldn’t be needed. Underperforming or bored workers are likely to make mistakes and/or fail to push sales.

It is also important to look beyond the individuals and assess whether team members are working the right hours, being given the right tasks or costing too much overall.

The following tips will help in carrying out the process:

  • Develop real, measurable performance indicators to work out how staff are going. – Fireside chats without any performance measures feel like they are good for morale, but staff generally want to know where they stand.  If they’re underperforming they’ll know it and won’t respect managers who miss such facts. Measurement is also crucial for working out if the company is overstaffed.
  • Are some employees being kept around because they are liked, or the tough decision to let them go isn’t being made? – That’s fine if you can afford it, but be honest with yourself that this is the reason for such a luxury.
  • Be wary of staff looking busy, when they really aren’t. – Work generally expands to fill the time available, with staff pacing themselves.  The hard questions have to be asked about whether this is happening.
  • In assessing staff costs, don’t just stop at pay. – Salaries and wages are only part of the story. IT, rent, training, sick days, holidays, hiring and management costs also need to be included. It is easy to convince yourself that staff are much cheaper than they really are.
  • Do more hours need to be covered? – Staff often don’t want to work unsociable hours such as weekends and nights. Don’t let that be a limit on operational hours – that’s the tail wagging the dog.
  • What are the customers saying? – Don’t be afraid to get feedback from trusted clients. – How staff perform for them may be quite different to the way they present themselves to you.  And customers might also be wanting services or hours the current team isn’t delivering.
  • Compare current staffing with an outsourced solution. – It’s easy to think that outsourcing will cost too much, or be too inflexible to work for you. Find out by talking to an outsourcer or two and find out. You might be in for a pleasant surprise.

To get a quote for outsourcing from Picsell Media, click here.