When done well, labor management can have a profoundly positive impact on cost, quality, and productivity. Nevertheless, bringing in a third party for labor management can come with a stigma attached to it, as managers and employees may believe that bringing in an outside perspective is unnecessary, reflects badly on their performance, and even endangers their jobs. As such, this stigma can pose a significant challenge to bringing about the changes you need to improve your processes and realize your full operational potential.
Getting the Management Team On Board
Getting a management team on board is the biggest obstacle we encounter. However, securing management’s buy-in is integral to designing and implementing a successful program. As Brent Gleeson advises in his Forbes article “The Critical Role of Leadership Development During Organizational Change,” a company’s leadership has several key responsibilities during a period of organizational transformation, including maintaining leadership alignment regarding how to execute the transformation, clearly communicating the required changes across the organization and ensuring the team is engaged with the change initiative and adjusted mission narrative.
For this reason, we work closely with management to set and achieve program goals. We do this by asking questions and analyzing all relevant data. This provides us with the insights we need to understand the client’s objectives and pain points, gain an impression of the available resources, and pinpoint opportunities for improvement.
The next step involves collaborating with the management team to design a solution. We explore all possible options to determine which course of action would yield the best results in light of the client’s objectives. Then we create a strategy and implement the changes together.
With the management team on board and a strategy in place, the need for change and how that change will be accomplished can be communicated to the rest of the company from the top down. Oftentimes, when employees understand the reasons for the change initiative and see that management supports it, they become less resistant to the transformation and become more engaged with the project.
The following example illustrates our approach. One of our clients, Taylor Farms, wanted to bring its labor costs down while maximizing its production capabilities. During the discovery process, we found that excessive overtime and inefficient processes were driving up labor costs. Together with the facility’s management team, we determined that instead of keeping the full-time workforce relatively small and paying them overtime, it would be more cost-effective to expand the team and employ temporary workers during peak times. We also reorganized the facility for more efficiency based on input from team leaders and employees. The end result was increased productivity and a CPU that dropped from 1.41 to 0.41.
Our Clients’ Business Success Is Our Success
At nGROUP, we understand that our success hinges upon our clients’ success. That’s why we never employ a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, each client’s program is built around its specific business objectives, not ours. Our clients always maintain full operational control, and we collaborate with them to make the necessary changes for improvement. In short, our clients are the heroes — nGROUP is just the guide.