Dear Aunty B,
We run a takeaway food chain, and since Christmas have noticed a downturn in spending and have to make a few hard decisions. The board decided to hold off on plans to hire new staff at head office.
But when we told the troops they would have to cope for longer with current staff numbers, we had a revolt on our hands. (We have a few very outspoken, clock watchers on staff.)
Now I am wondering if the new software we were planning to buy should be put on hold instead.
All staff worth their salt complain of being overworked. And quite frankly in a successful, fast growing company workers should feel comfortably stretched.
It keeps the company lean, hungry and in top shape to fight competitors.
But you wander into dangerous territory if you tip workers over into the burnout zone and they leave.
So are your staff spoilt whingers with a few bolshie ring leaders?
Will the software cut your costs, make you more efficient and help staff in the long run?
If yes and yes, then go for the software. It will help the staff in the long term, so spell out the benefits before they begin to resent the extra training on top of their workload.
But make sure that any burnout cases are not slipping under your radar because their workloads might be excessive. Perhaps the clock-watching loud mouths can help them out.
Fiona, have to dash. I want to check out that new nanotechnology mobile bracelet!
Your Aunty B.