What You Should be Thinking About as an HR Leader

As the lock down of businesses across America continues, and some states get ready to reopen and get cash registers ringing again, CEOs are thinking about their strategy to open up and get back to being profitable and sound as soon as possible. Human Resources must share in this thinking, before making changes becomes unbearable.

As author of “THE SANITY GAME: Cut The Crap That Drives Employees Crazy” I’m confident CEOs, business owners and executives have a unique opportunity to clean up everything that isn’t working or that’s inefficiently structured. Remember, going forward we won’t be returning to business as usual.

Human Resources should be thinking about how to reopen their businesses with a smaller and lighter footprint than before everything was shutdown. First, because the number of customers and demand will be less as the economy gradually cranks back up. Second, because you now have a golden opportunity to choose the best of the best who always added value to work with you. Let those people who weren’t performing at peak levels free to find other positions that work best with their skills and abilities. These numbers will vary from industry to industry, but at least ten percent of your work force shouldn’t return even when you’re back to full operating capacity.

Right now, is the ideal time to look at your organizational chart and for ways to flatten it just as the heroes in our hospitals have worked around the clock to flatten the curve on COVID-19. For years you may have never questioned the manager who was leading only one or two people. Is that really necessary anymore? Perhaps those people can be moved or combined with another group. That manager can be shifted into a participatory role that maximizes his or her skills. It’s all possible now as you rebuild your organization from the ground up.

Here are my top three tips for businesses who are looking at how best to strategically reopen right now:

  • Do your restructuring before your employees start to return. At HR Sanity, we help build the format and what you want your company to look like in this new workforce. Then, carefully decide who you want to put in those roles. Choose the people who you know add the most value.
  • Right now, most businesses have too many layers. As in the example above, look for creative ways more can be accomplished with less. The greatest savings will be with managers who were managing ridiculously small groups. This does not mean to exit manager. Be thoughtful and intentional when it comes to their roles, are they a manager or an individual contributor? Less layers increases speed of decision making an adding value.
  • It will be a gradual ramp-up in people as consumers and business to business customers begin to feel confident again about being out in places formerly thought of as unsafe or unhealthy, like restaurants for example. People and businesses need to feel confident in their ability to spend discretionary dollars as well. However, when everything settles down, I believe we’ll see a crazy rush for businesses to snap up the best talent. I’m confident this will happen because our economy was so strong before the sudden snapping shut of our economy.

Make sure your new structure is in place so you can attract the best candidates by saying, “Look at what we’re doing that’s new and exciting.” This way even an old brand can be polished off and look fresh and innovative again. The best people will want to return to something better than the role they held before.”

Moses is a two-decade long professional in Human Resources based in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. He’s worked with organizations as large as Walmart, Chemours and Home Depot and, as small as startups. His book can be purchased at most book stores or you can anonymously send a personally autographed copy to an employee/leader needing guidance or, who you believe will benefit from some sanity by calling 1-833-4-SANITY. Moses is dedicated to discovering and implementing sane, smart ways to add value to businesses.