Most of us have heard it before: "Budgets are going to be tight this year/quarter", blah blah. If you're lucky, they follow up with details on where those cuts will be applied. However, in most cases it's left to guess, and that ends up draining a few bottles of liquor, some bottles of Xanax and a couple of boxes of tissues.
Rather than leave management to roll the dice, I thought I'd offer my personal spin on how budget cuts can be applied in ways that mitigate staffing and position reductions, while improving both employee morale and the "bottom line". Mmmm-kay? Let's look.
1. Restroom Optimization
Remove one toilet or urinal from every restroom in every facility. That will cut back on water consumption, toilet paper, and encourage employees to hold it in until they leave work. That will keep them at their desks for a longer portion of their work day.
2. Premium Services
Install credit/debit card swipe locks on every restroom door. Require employees to pay to use your expensive, and well-kept facilities. After all: your company buys only the absolute highest quality toilet tissues, cut from the choicest trees in the farthest reaches of the Amazon rainforest. Why not pass that value and respect along to your staff as well?
Encourage your staff to focus on exercise by reducing the usable area of parking lots and parking spaces around your facilities. That will allow you to re-purpose the land for more business-oriented uses. The remaining spots should require a decal or badge in order to park, and those should require an annual fee to be paid by the employee. Colleges have been doing this for decades. They're smart people, aren't they? So why not follow their lead?
Nothing builds team spirit and morale quite like social events. Some that you could consider might include "spin-the-layoff-wheel", or "race for a restroom". The former would encourage your staff by allowing the highest score person to name another employee to lay-off or terminate (don't forget those folks in states like Virginia, where they have the convenient "work-at-will" laws). The latter would allow the fastest runner to use the restroom free of charge for one whole day! How awesome would that be! I'm sure you can think of others to consider. Just be sure to focus on "what's good for the company" when planning such activities.
Employees often complain they're not challenged with interesting work. So, why not challenge them with randomly-selected secondary job titles? So, those "system engineer" folks can also add "custodial engineer" or "landscape services" to their resume. The career-building potential would be incredible.