Why Not Fire the Managers?
Expert Explains Why Some Businesses Should Consider Making Changes at the Top
Instead of Laying Off From the Bottom
In the face of tough economic times, fear and courage are two sides of the same coin to Randall Hatcher.
"Too many times companies and company executives make decisions out of fear instead of courage, and as a result, they make key mistakes that hurt them in the long term," said Hatcher, president of a human resources firm and author of The Birth of a New Workforce (www.thebirthofanewworkforce.com). "Many executives fear losing power to a third party, or they fear that a third party cannot do it better and they could lose their job, or it could mess up their distribution system, their product flow, etc. The HR/finance/logistics/purchasing leaders could fear losing their jobs or losing resources under their control. Everybody holds onto a sacred cow. So, to create and sustain success in our current business climate, leaders must be willing to terminate full-time employees - even those at the top."
Hatcher doesn't believe that time is money. He believes that time is everything.
"Large companies are very distracted because they are still keeping their hands on too many of their non-core processes," he said. "This diverts their time and resources, which if redirected, could help them improve their innovation, efficiency, mergers and acquisitions, and in general, their focus on what is most important in growing and staying competitive for the next 20 years. We compete in a very complex business model where large companies admit they don't have the solutions. Why not narrow your focus on that complexity to enterprise critical directives instead of wasting time on minutiae?"
In the cult movie Office Space, a company manager constantly harasses his employees for busywork daily reports; meanwhile the same workers were secretly using a computer algorithm to siphon hundreds of thousands of dollars from the company, right under the manager's nose. This is an exaggerated example, but typical of the myopia that faces many companies today.
Hatcher believes that managers need to be looking for solutions, or start looking for a new job. His tips for companies and their employees to avoid the latter include:
- Focus on Time -- Time is precious, limited, and valuable, so don't waste it. Keep focused on mission critical functions, and leave secondary job functions for later.
- Every Day Matters -- What you focus on every day determines your and your company's future success. Don't let a whole day go by without ensuring you are doing something that ensures that success.
- Refocus Resources -- Key executives will concentrate the majority of time and resources on building and sustaining a competitive edge through managing every part of their organization with excellence. There are no mulligans in business, and every ounce of resources your company commits to getting the right jobs done counts. Every ounce that is wasted doesn't.
- Never Waste A Crisis -- Crises are opportunities to refocus and learn about what not to do in the future. Don't waste them just running around trying to bail water out of the boat. Retrace your steps and figure out WHY the crisis came about, and take steps to prevent it in the future.
- Outsource Wisely -- Here's an easy way to distinguish between what you should outsource and what you should keep in-house. Increase your company's time and resources it spends on what it does well. Entrust everything else to your outsourced labor, and ensure that their expertise picks up where yours leaves off.
Randall Hatcher is the president of MAU Workforce Solutions, a diversified human resource, staffing and outsourcing company, and author of The Birth of a New Workforce (www.thebirthofanewworkforce.com).