Can Efficiency Help You Make Better Hiring Decisions in an Uncertain Economy?

Kyle Stemple | May 28th, 2010

The recent economic downturn forced many companies to reduce their workforce to a level more commensurate to revenue. And now that a few “green shoots” of recovery are beginning to sprout, some of them are considering hiring more workers. However, they’re cautious, and not sure the current uptick will last beyond a few months. Is there another way to address your increasing work load?

Fortunately, yes, there is. Before hiring additional workers, you might consider attacking your manpower issue from another direction. Your company may be able to improve its processes to the point where your existing workers have excess capacity to perform additional work – allowing you to pick up additional business and produce products or services without adding headcount.

Chances are, you’re already doing more with less, but there may be ways to make your processes even more effective and efficient. Lean Six Sigma is a team-based, problem-solving approach that began in manufacturing and has been successfully applied to many other industries including services and back-office processes. Led by a skilled facilitator, teams analyze the effectiveness of the current steps in their processes using statistical data. They identify where efficiencies are being lost and use Lean techniques to measurably improve those processes. This management philosophy requires buy-in from your staff and, when properly implemented, will result in a continuous improvement culture in your company.

Lean is all about gaining capacity in your processes, allowing you to do more with what you have.  And as your company experiences that uptick in revenue, you’ll be able to drop more of those dollars to the bottom line, rather than in personnel expenses.

Those companies who have the most efficient and effective processes will be the companies well positioned during the eventual economic recovery.   Can you afford not to invest in your processes and people?

 If you’d like to learn more about improving the capacity of your existing team using Lean Six Sigma, please talk to your Rea professional.

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