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3 ways to cut costs I said management

training, not employee training) would be a

good idea to start the motivation process.

I once worked in a factory setting where production goals were based on quotas. The quotas were based on previous production records we set. Most of the time, the quotas were forced down our throats by managers that told us to “meet the quotas, or else.” Although management tried to threaten our employment, we knew the company wasn’t going to fire and replace an entire shift. We also knew that because the quotas were based on our previous production records, if we surpassed the quota, we’d be forced to work even harder, and continue to be threatened with our jobs if we didn’t break the new record. We worked toward the quota, but weren’t passionate about it. The result was a stagnate status-quo, without continuous improvement. We would probably have been more passionate about production had our productivity been benchmarked against another similar-sized factory. We didn’t care about beating our own record, but we wouldn’t have stood for letting the guys across town beat us.

Finding ways to make the most from hourly employees can be a challenge, but can help increase productivity without increasing costs.

3. Control Employee Turnover

Employees can be called many things, but in the business world they can be considered either expenses or investments. Employees certainly cost companies millions of dollars each year, but serve a critical role in business. Employees are a necessary part of any functional business, and can have a tremendous impact on the output of a company. In the service industry, it is the employees that offer service. In the manufacturing industry, production

employee retains the training, but the company can no longer benefit from training monies spent on the employee that left. In addition, lost employees may take valuable skills to a competitor.

A key to retaining employees involves motivation and inspiration. While wages can spur motivation and inspiration, sometimes the best way to motivate and inspire is to simply keep employees happy. Contribute to an enjoyable working environment, offer lavish praise, and make work fun

devising strategies to increase operational efficiencies.

is controlled by employees. When UPS workers went on strike in the late 1990’s, we all felt the impact.

While it may be easy to discuss how to reduce expenses by managing employee costs, it is difficult to see employees as anything other than investments. As a manager, it is important to understand the need for gaining the greatest return on investment possible.

Employee turnover can result in the loss of valuable investments. Consider the amount spent on training an employee. When an employee leaves the firm, the

creative, and is very capable of

I do think that the human mind can be extremely

for employees. Happy employees are more likely to remain employees, work harder, and offer a greater return on investment.

Summary – Working smarter is a better choice than doing more with less. By cross-training employees to perform multiple roles, companies more efficiently utilize one of its most valuable resources. By motivating and inspiring hourly employees, production and service levels can increase. By controlling employee turnover, training isn’t lost and employee investment remains within the company.

Derrick Dutson is a freelance writer with 13 years experience in the travel and tourism industry. He received an MBA from Regis University. He also has a BA in Communications, with emphases in Advertising and Public Rela- tions, and a BA in Spanish: both from Southern Utah University. Derrick currently manages the business opera- tions of the Winter Sports School at Brian Head Resort, and performs general business consulting services for small businesses throughout Southern Utah. You can contact Derrick by email at

22 scrapbook business

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