It’s official, hard graft is in fashion
IN THE beginning the word was George. And George said, “Let there be cuts”. And there were cuts. And George saw that the cuts were good….
So what are we to do at this dawning of the new Age of Austerity? We’re hardly likely to move our offices north to take advantage of the national insurance subsidy made available to those with a provincial accent and postcode north of Watford, are we?
Well, my first advice is not to panic. Remember that your team is your most expensive cost, so doing anything rash like removing the water coolers will only serve to spook them and end up costing more than it saves.
The critical focus should be improving your productivity. But cut staff numbers only once, so those left are not forever looking over their shoulders.
It’s probably worth remembering that you can’t save your way to success either. In the end, business is all about investing in people and capital, and while cash will, rightly at times, assume the mantle of King, the heart of the enterprise must beat to the tune of return on this investment.
Some good news is that many of the old rules have now changed and you have permission to be much bolder than in the time of plenty. Your team will have been reminded that entitlements are not the human rights we thought they had become. They need to be afforded. And it finally seems acceptable to work hard again. The political march towards forever demeaning hard graft as the root of every societal ill, which culminated in it actually being outlawed beyond 35 hours a week in France, seems at last to have hit the buffers.
Watch out for the inevitable backlash of strikes and unrest from the deniers who prefer to pull their luddite duvets over their heads as the austerity hits the fan and distributes its economic shrapnel around the economy.
Its now official – George has told us –? Graft is Good. Elbow grease is back.
Alex Pratt, OBE, is author of “Austerity Business”. It’s available now, priced at £12.99.