People matter. That’s why we employ, train, council and discipline them. Sure, they provide a product or service that ultimately produces some sort of revenue generation but people are at the heart and spirit of an organisation.
Spirit is however a double-edged sword – it’s great to have, but as soon as some resistance is applied in its direction, the resulting fight is fuelled by passion.
Where there’s talk of downsizing, outsourcing or restructuring the picket lines are rapidly formed. Due in part to politically-minded industrious people believing that ‘the man’ is in the wrong. However under the vocal laboured tones lies a true desire to maintain or restore what is right – because no one wants to see someone unfairly downsized. No one except for the big-wigs who need to make the ends meet and would like greater profits.
As was pointed out to us by Mr Bob Dylan “times, they are a changin” and with that change comes the need to grab those two ends and re-evaluate the way they meet.
For a CFO under the pump – why would you want to pay a person top dollar when their skill is now commonplace or worse yet, available offshore for 10%?
Unskilled labour used to be the term for job description for people who would move bricks from point A to point B or the person who hands picture frames up to the skilled tradesmen who can hammer them into place.
Now that the world is going online yesterday’s unskilled labourers are now people who are not excited about hard work yet have been exposed to computers and computerised processes from their first few years at school.
Couple this with the glut of global outsourcing that is now commonplace. A Doctor would once dictate a letter and physically hand his secretary the tape recorder for her to turn into a crisp letter. These days, the audio file is now emailed straight to a cheaper offshore source who speed types the doc and emails it straight back to the Doctor.
Like it or not, the employee must provide more for less or things look grim.
A solution taken by some is to provide a service from within the country but with costs reduced. For example, executive suites or virtual offices can save money elsewhere, so that the same profits can be made but without sacrificing skill. Costs can be saved from the use of a remote office when required and the employees are getting a fair deal and producing a quality standard of work. For most this is a win, win situation and the only way forward.