Within the past few years, increasing manufacturing productivity and efficiency has been an important aspect of the chemical supply chain. When the Report and Survey of the Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Capacity and Production was released, the top answer for the “SINGLE most important biomanufacturing trend or operational area that the industry must focus efforts on in 2014” was Manufacturing Productivity/Efficiency.
With an increasing demand to focus on productivity and efficiency in the biopharma space, “do more with less” has become a contagious concept. How many times have we been in a situation where Joe, the Procurement Manager, left the company, and now you are stuck straddling two positions until they decide to hire a backfill? Or ever been in a situation where it’s the end of the quarter and in order to meet your numbers the budget has been cut and your work has been doubled?
This is what working environments have morphed into throughout the years. Although we can’t change this trend, we can at least have some degree of control over how we let it affect our business lives. If not acted upon correctly, it can leave employees feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. This can ultimately decrease motivation and productivity and fuel high employee turnover rates. In 2016, when your boss hits you with this infamous catch phrase, “do more with less,” here are some tips to keep the morale of your team going, while avoiding unnecessary frustration.
Set clear goals: Defining clear goals for your team from the start will help them see a vision for them to work towards. It helps employees understand expectations and key priorities allowing them to focus on the strategic, value-add tasks. There is nothing more frustrating than not having clear goals and trying to quickly “do more with less”.
Prioritize tasks as needed: Sometimes demand in work increases. It is important to prioritize and flex in these situations. You also have to be mindful not to take it to the extreme. You need a happy balance of being flexible and nimble when need be, without going in a million different directions.
Avoid micro-management and trust your employees: With the pressure to quickly accomplish a lot of tasks, the notion of micro-management can easily get out of control. You hired your employees for a reason. Trusting in your team’s capabilities to execute will help you meet your goals without creating an unhealthy, work environment.
Enhance skillsets: This is an opportunity for people to get into projects and gain experience. It not only helps with productivity and motivation, but it also helps employees have a sense of importance and worth. Who knows, you might be able to fill that Procurement Manager position with an internal candidate, but be aware that means that your specialist position needs to be filled!
Leverage relationships with internal resources: Whether it is leveraging another business unit or function, this is the perfect opportunity to share best practices and collaborate. They are internal partners and everyone, in essence, is working towards the same high level goals.
Leverage relationships with external resources: When circumstances permit, leverage external resources – they may be able to provide some sort of value-add service or capability that may take a lot of pressure off of your team.
And….last but not least, support your team! Providing an Open Door Policy for seamless communication is key to maintaining an efficient team when faced with the ultimate phrase “do more with less”.