Sunday, February 1, 2009

CUTTING OUT DEAD WEIGHT AT YOUR BUSINESS

As featured in:

EMPLOYERS’ WORLD WEEKLY VOL. 24 – WINTER 2009

By : Mr. Robert D. Klinger, M.S., CEO, Nickel-Dime Productivity Consultants LLC

Running a business is never easy. It is not easy to maintain growth, meet weekly payroll, hire, fire, advertise and win new accounts. In America, consumers depend on competition between businesses in order to enjoy lower prices. Competition undoubtedly helps consumers. But it makes life difficult on businesses, since they must always stay one step ahead of their rivals. In today’s world, that is no easy task.

Good businesses are watchful employers. Employers provide jobs to Americans. Yet in dark economic times like these, hiring is simply not an option. Employees cost money. Many businesses today struggle to stay open, let alone provide work to others. Some businesses always have positions open. But most do not. Employers need good employees to stay afloat. And because you cannot hire these days, you must learn how to retain existing employees.

It is no longer 1998. The internet boom has come and gone. President Bush briefly restored luster to the economy with war in 2003, but in recent years the markets have steadily declined. There is no more money for new hires. Now, employers must operate on shoestring budgets. They must avoid unnecessary costs. To that extent, it is becoming increasingly important to oversee employees’ productivity levels. Because businesses cannot afford new employees, they must ensure that their existing employees are doing their jobs. This may sound easy, but employee oversight is a tricky business. We can help.

Nickel-Dime Productivity Consultants LLC has pioneered employee productivity monitoring since 2006. We have simple motto: “Do It Now. Do It Faster. Every TimeWe believe that well-supervised employees can produce more in an hour than an unsupervised employee can produce in three. We offer several proprietary productivity-enhancing methods, including PrivacyBuster®, PersonalCallKiller® and AutoLunchBreak®. Applying these methods, we ensure that your employees spend every minute on your premises for your purposes only. Our special software protocols provide you 24-hour alerts whenever your employees are eating on the clock. Our patented EmployeeCam® allows you to see exactly what your employees see at a particular moment. If you do not like the websites they are visiting, or if you see them reading a newspaper instead of working, you can immediately send an electric shock through our patented closed-circuit 500-volt Grindstone® system installed at every employee’s work station. Grindstone® is particularly popular. Several customers advise their employees: “Either you come here to work or you’re in for a shocking experience.”

Productivity management does not stop with slacker monitoring. To maintain healthy profit levels at all times, employers must cut out dead weight. To do this, it is essential to identify corpses. Corpses make highly unreliable employees. Recent market research discloses that as many as 34% of all wage-earners are corpses. A corpse is the body of a dead employee. Yet dead employees are difficult to distinguish from living employees. In the modern workplace, a dead employee may sit at his or her work station for days or even weeks without anyone ever noticing. Corpses continue receiving pay and health benefits until you discover them, wasting valuable funds. Because living employees act in virtually the same fashion as their dead counterparts, good managers must know how to identify corpses before they put a burden on business.

Corpses generally do not move much. But because seated, living employees do not move much either, it is important to look for more tell-tale signs that an employee may be dead. Smell is a reliable indicator that your employee is a corpse. Corpses exude a pungent, rotting odor within a week after death. Nonetheless, living employees, too, may exude pungent, rotting odors while they are still alive. Thus, smell alone does not provide firm evidence that an employee is dead. It would not be fair to fire a living employee simply because she smelled like a corpse. In the interest of fairness, a prudent manager must look beyond smell to determine whether an employee is a corpse.

Corpses rarely speak. Dead bodies do not frequently utter noises, except at the moment of death, when they gasp, groan, or release air in some way. At this moment, the soon-to-be corpse may cry out weakly: “I’m going,” or “Urrrrghhh.” Although these utterances may provide some proof that an employee is dead, it is statistically unlikely that fellow employees will hear them. Furthermore, even living employees say: “I’m going,” or “Urrrrghhh,” depending on the circumstances. For example, a productive employee who has properly clocked out may say: “I’m going,” before heading to the break room for a coffee. Similarly, a productive employee may say: “Urrrghhh” when confronting a discouraging work situation. Additionally, lack of speech alone cannot determine whether an employee is a corpse. Good managers do not allow their employees to speak during the day. The fact that an employee does not speak for hours or days at a time does not prove—in itself—that the employee is a corpse. Put another way, corpses are predominately silent; but good employees are, too.

Corpses do not respond to most sensory stimuli. When touched, a corpse ordinarily will not look to see what touched it. Similarly, when addressed, a corpse will not verbally respond. Although these signs tend to show that an employee is dead, there are many cases in which living employees, too, do not respond to stimuli. Good employees keep their minds on their work. When they refuse to respond to coworkers’ jokes or banter, they show their focus. Good employees even ignore direct physical touching. They keep on working. To that extent, failure to respond to stimuli does not definitively prove that an employee is a corpse. He or she may not be dead; he or she may be simply an extremely focused, productive worker who is “in the zone.”

Corpses are dead. For that reason, they do not get up and go home at the end of each workday. By contrast, living employees get up and go home at the end of each workday. Many productivity managers can spot corpses when they see an employee slumped over his or her desk long after business hours. But again, appearances can be deceiving. Although most employees “call it a day” by 8 PM, the best employees stay at the office as long as it takes to get the job done. In fact, the most dedicated employees pull “all-nighters” on a regular basis. For that reason, it is easy to mistake a corpse for a dedicated employee: They both remain at their workstations until the wee hours and beyond. While less motivated employees go home, dedicated employees and corpses stay behind.

Spotting corpses is difficult. Despite this, good productivity practice requires it. In these sparse times, businesses cannot afford to spend precious resources on corpses. There is simply not enough money. Businesses can afford only to keep dedicated employees on board. Because corpses resemble dedicated employees, learning how to spot corpses becomes doubly important. We recommend applying a multi-pronged strategy to determine whether an employee is a corpse. Applying the factors listed above, one may generalize as follows: “An employee is a corpse when, after more than a week, he or she has not left his or her desk, smells like rotting meat, has not substantially changed physical position, emitted a gasping or gurgling sound sometime within the last seven days, and since that time has not responded to sensory stimuli of any kind.”

If the employee in question exhibits all of these characteristics, it is likely that he or she has died. Dead employees are corpses. Corpses are not productive. Business cannot survive without maximum productivity at all times. Corpses make that task impossible. In that light, we recommend firing the corpse immediately after determining that it is not a dedicated employee.

If you are a productivity manager and you suspect that some of your employees may be corpses, call Nickel-Dime Productivity Consultants LLC today for a free consultation at 1-800-HES-GONE. There is no obligation. You owe it to your business. Stop corpses from bilking your hard-earned profits. Call now.

1 comment:

SteveW said...

LMAO.
This one is great.