- Written by Paul
More and more employers and managers are jumping on the economy bandwagon. If you do something crazy, you can blame it on the current economic crisis and it is like a magic 'get out of jail free' card. This is too good an opportunity to miss out on, so get with the program folks.
When you blame it on the economy, you externalize the problem and redirect the blame onto something amorphous. Your staff cannot pin the blame on you, and you can do all sorts of evil deeds worthy of a war crimes tribunal. Even your boss will be unable to keep up with your antics and may even give you a raise for being such a pro-active manager. If you do really well, keep notes and perhaps you will have a the makings of a new best-selling management book. Crazier things have happened, so who knows, eh?
For example, if you want to eliminate some of your people, make sure you avoid paying severance, and blame it on the economy. Put your staff on unpaid leave (give it some special name, like 'Standby') until things pick up. Tell them to wait at home by the phone and you will call when the economy is better. Now you have them off the payroll and consuming space in the business and it cost you nothing. If you are challenged, you maintain that you are trying your best to keep staff, despite the economic slowdown, and if it does indeed turn around they will be welcomed back. This way you come out as a saint. You can't lose.
Next, come up with a new overtime policy, which basically negates overtime pay, or makes it very difficult to qualify. Call this new policy an 'Economic Action Plan'. If the title works for the government, it will work for you too. Keep a printed copy nearby, so you can pull it out and show how you are pro-actively managing the company through this crisis. Another benefit of this policy is when people are not paid for extra hours, see if their hours drop and then you can write them up for not being a 'team player'. After all you need everyone on board with you for the company to make it through the bad times.
Practice your screaming, andthen blame the staff for being too sensitive when they get upset. Send them to a mandatory 'sensitivity training' and have them pay for it. Doc their pay while they attend training of course. Part of your new economic action plan is that you only hire fully trained staff, so the company should not have to pay for them to attend training. To do so would be to admit they are not fully trained, and thus they are not eligible for continued employment.
For sales people, be sure to mess with the commission structures. For example, increase the minimum sales they have to make before they get a commission, and then reduce the commission for high priced items. Organize top earners into teams with weaker sales people, or even people who are no longer with the company, and then a criteria for getting paid includes a good team score. Add extra rules about lower commission on weekends, and months with an 'r' in the name.
Playing with commissions will tend to reduce overall sales, since it confuses and demoralizes your sales people. If you are lucky, some of your most expensive sales people will up and leave, thus thinning out the herd until you are left with stupid people. As they say in management school, don't raise the bridge, lower the moat. Keep some stupid people around you and you do anything you like with them.
The following month, you can let go of more sales people because business is slow. Be sure to to not pay out any outstanding commissions if you do. Explain that due to the commission structures, outlined in the economic action plan, they are no longer due anything.