Doing more with less sounds counter-intuitive. It sounds almost like the Charles Dickens story of Scrooge, who did not have the best employee practices. However, motivating employees to be more efficient can actually help to invigorate them. It forces them to think “outside the box”. It also provides a place to learn and grow in areas that they would not normally explore. When employees can order supplies or services whenever they think they need them, it does not leave much room to encourage conservative spending practices. Creating a work environment where employees are responsible for spending will give them a way to think in a more fiscally conservative manner.
Encourage your employees to learn to weather the storm
Economic conditions go up and down, new technology replaces old technology, and employees come and go. Motivating staff to think more long-term is essential to a business. When an employee leaves, have your staff take a step back and see if it is necessary to replace the person that left. When a printer breaks and you have several others with varying functions have your staff evaluate if the broken equipment is still necessary. Taking steps to anticipate a business’s needs in stormy weather, even when it appears to be clear skies, helps to prepare employees for when a real storm approaches. This metaphor is relevant to a range of situations such as economic downturns or variations in industry trends which may force your staff to adapt to painful changes.
By doing more with less, you will lower your staff’s expectations. If employees become accustomed to having whatever they want whenever they want it, it becomes difficult to reduce resources. When resources are distributed more conservatively, it creates an environment of appreciation for the resources that are available. This is not to say that you shouldn’t replace a computer when it breaks. Instead, consider an alternative approach. Perhaps replacing everyone’s computer at once will save time, money, and lower the expectations of personalized requests that can add up. Motivate staff by encouraging them to think about what their financial priorities are. This will empower employees to be able to do more with less.