Tag Archives: Factors

How Do You Incentivize Employees to Document SOPs? Six Observations

Situation: The CEO of a specialty component company wants to standardize documentation of company procedures covering sales, production and ISO documentation. This will take time and effort, and employees are concerned about accountability for poor results. How do you incentivize employees to document SOPs?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Are employees are being asked for accountability without being empowered or rewarded for performance? Currently, there is nothing about employee performance that is directly tied to:
    • Longevity,
    • Dollars in raise, or
    • Share of the bonus pool.
    • Everything is determined at the CEO’s discretion.
    • Why would anyone want more accountability if they feel that they have little control over their jobs or future at the company?
  • To increase accountability and drive, employees must be given control over the factors tied to retention, pay and bonuses.
  • To create an effective system for employees to document standardized SOPs they need:
    • Incentives that are under their control to achieve the objective – creating standardized SOPs.
    • Objectives that are achievable with clearly stated rewards for performance.
    • Performance evaluations tied to clearly stated objectives, discussed with and agreed to by each employee, which drive raises, bonuses and rewards.
    • The messaging about these changes must be delivered with energy and passion. Employees must feel excited by this opportunity.
  • Understand that this may cost 10-15% in increased overhead but will boost the value of the company way beyond the cost.
  • Employees need to know the vision for the company and must be empowered to achieve the results to fulfill this vision.
    • The why behind the desire for standardized SOPs is just as important as the incentives created to achieve them.
    • The why must be clear, simple, and must be understood by the employees for everything to work.
  • To further motivate the team, involve them in designing the incentive program.
    • Ask what they want. Maybe it’s something as simple as a fun day with the team.
    • If they aren’t asked, the danger is that they will not respond to the incentive offered. Money is not the only, and in many cases is not the most effective incentive.

In Challenging Times Do You Cut Losses? Three Considerations

Situation: A company lost money last year, but turned the corner with a profitable final quarter. One of the company’s divisions continues to lose money, though the losses are small compared to the total picture. The CEO is considering cutting this business. What factors should the CEO consider in making this decision?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • What expense factors contributed to the loss?
    • The biggest factor was allocation of vehicle and space expense. This division has seasonal revenue but carries the allocated expenses for the full year.
  • Make sure that your allocated expenses are fair to the business. Do overhead allocations reflect utilization? Unless closing the business eliminates vehicles or space, if you terminate this business these expenses will be borne by the rest of the company.
    • Study your allocations by shifting the allocation made to this business to other businesses. What is the impact on their profitability?
    • If you find that the current allocation does not reflect utilization and adjust accordingly, does the business still lose money?
    • If this division covers its direct expenses along with most of its allocated expenses, a small loss in this division may be preferable to a reduction in profitability of other businesses from closing the division.
  • How strategic is this division to the overall business mix?
    • Is this business essential to your product/service mix or just a customer convenience? If you terminated the business will customers be upset?
    • Do competitors offer this service, and would you be disadvantaged by discontinuing it?
  • What are the alternatives?
    • Can you raise prices to increase profitability and refuse business that does not meet this pricing?
    • Can you restrict the offering to less price sensitive customers?
    • Can you refer customers to other vendors or sub out this business?
    • Can you reduce the scope of the offering while adjusting pricing to enhance profitability?
    • Can you source other labor alternatives to reduce cost?

Category: Strategy, Service

Key Words: Profitable, Loss, Division, Business, Critical, Factors, Expense, Allocation, Seasonal, Overhead, Loss Limit, Customer, Price, Competition, Offering, Scope, Labor, Skilled, Contractor