Too often in business we quickly respond to situations (both good or bad) instead of looking at how that decision came to be. When a corporation has a bad year and their numbers are down, the immediate response is to initiate layoffs – because we can always “save” money by cutting payroll right?
Although it may be obvious to some, this response is in no way a long term solution to the problem. We live in a society that expects immediate results – so it’s understandable why many corporations and small businesses resort to this type of narrow-minded decision-making.
But what if there was another way to solve these business issues – instead of following the traditional and outdated layoff approach? Do individuals deserve to lose their jobs because a small group of people didn’t plan the year accordingly?
Massive layoffs will quickly spin the sales numbers on paper, so the bad year will not be so bad after all. No real problem is ever solved with layoffs, and they should only be looked at as a last resort. We know this is wrong, so let’s take the alternate route.
The smart approach is, and will always be to identify the root cause of a problem – and you can do this by asking the right kinds of questions. Why were sales numbers not met? Where did production stall? When did the material prices get raised?
When we start asking the right kinds of questions, we familiarize ourselves with the subject. Everything starts with a source and we need to keep it at the back of our minds as time goes on (especially at year end). The saying is that history repeats itself – this couldn’t be more true than in business. So remember, there is never only one solution to a problem.
When there’s traffic on the interstate does adding one more lane really eliminate traffic? If your waist is getting bigger does buying a pair of larger pants help? Quick fixes are failures when we need to keep coming back to them. From now on the source must be considered.
Instead of adding another lane to the interstate we need to consider traffic flow and possibly fix light cycles. Instead of buying bigger pants you need to change up your lifestyle – by eating healthy foods and exercising on a regular basis. It’s always helpful to look at situations from a new perspective – so stop going through the motions and taking the quick fix.
From now on you should be looking at the source to determine how a decision was made. There are so many moving parts in business, and we shouldn’t dismiss how or why something came to be. Go through the steps that were taken, or look to the chain of command to find out what worked, or what didn’t. By figuring out the source of the problem, you can resolve conflicts that will last for the long term.