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Post-Recession Challenge #1

Call me an optimist, but let’s say that our country is slowly crawling out of a pretty bad recession. Admittedly, the crawl is happening at different speeds in different parts of the country. This is the first in a series of challenges I’d like to pose to CEOs and business owners out there as part of retooling your company for the future: How much of your payroll cost can you shift from being fixed to variable going forward? What would the impact on your company be at various percentage ranges of shift?

Consider these strategies for accomplishing the shift: hiring part-timer workers, outsourcing certain functions and paying by the hour and the most intriguing and difficult one: stabilizing salaries and allowing all employees to participate in the up (and down) side of the business. The difficulty with this one is building a system of measurements in each job tied to the profitability of the business. In short, all employees would own their jobs and contribute directly to overall performance. Their total pay would float with the success of the business. Very difficult to implement but great potential for sustainable success. That’s why it is a challenge.