Myth of right sizing

“Right-size” is such a trendy phrase today, as companies big and small take aim at the most controllable cost of all – payroll.  Business owners across the country have tossed out that phrase to the remaining staff immediately after a layoff.  It is often followed by other trite phrases like, “It’s going to be harder on you (the ones that still have jobs) because we will all have to chip in and cover these responsibilities.  But I am convinced we will succeed, because you are all ‘A’ players!”

Yeah, right!

Right-size is just a fashionable way of saying, “I didn’t see this coming.”  Most acts of right-sizing occur well after business owners “wrong-sized” their company by throwing people at problems as sales grew.  Right-sizing is nothing more than a knee jerk reaction to bad financial statements and low bank account balances.   The phrase is meant to make remaining team members feel more secure in their jobs, but in reality it should scare the hell out of them!

“Right-sizing” and “wrong-sizing” have common foundations – poor systems and processes that mean leaders don’t have the right information to make good timely decisions.  To be fair, the economy does play a significant role in both actions, but did you see 10 people hired in one day like you just saw get “right-sized?”  I didn’t think so.

Smart business owners do NOT right-size – they constantly adjust their team to account for future business needs.  They act on good information today to protect their livelihood, making tough decisions an employee-at-a-time, not en masse.  They pay attention to current trends and trust the information at their disposal.  If they see sales drying up in their pipeline, they take action.

Make sure you have the tools you need today to manage your business efficiently and without the need to add more staff with every minor sales spike.  And work every day to make sure you have the right people, in the right places, and in the right numbers, so that you never have to be the person that opens a company meeting with the words, “Today, we right-sized our company….”