Business is changing…because of course, it is. But is your management structure and style evolving with the times, or are you working every day at your best dinosaur impression? Let’s take a look at one example of what I’m talking about…
Swiss Bank to Streamline Operations
Financial Times is reporting that Swiss bank UBS is merging large aspects of its back and middle office functions in the wealth management segment to streamline its processes, saving the company millions in operational costs. Stage one of the change will bring various departments in the wealth management unit together into the same IT system, as well as shared support facilities.
For UBS, these moves will mean “workforce reduction” – i.e., layoffs. Guess who goes first? You got it – middle managers who are deemed no longer “essential” to production or profitability. Have you been there? It’s not pretty, is it? And it’s not someplace you want to ever be again.
But think about it, why should UBS even have multiple IT systems and support facilities. Don’t you hate it when people aren’t using the same system, or when you call one place, and they have some information, and another place has different versions of the same information? As a customer, it’s infuriating. You end up talking to five different people, and no one can really help you because they don’t have all the same information or they don’t have access to the same data. Call back another time to another number, right?
PR Benefits of a More Efficient & Cohesive Business
In today’s age of instant rage on social media when customer service goes bad, streamlining tech and service departments is not just a financial concern, it’s a public relations decision. There are many benefits for the company. Of course, none of that matters to the guy who just found out his job no longer exists. There are a few things you can do as a smart manager to potentially avoid that trap yourself.
Stay Current on Business Practices & Trends
Understand market trends in your business and in other industries impacting your business. If you can see “it” coming, you can better prepare. Don’t just put your head down and do your job ever. Understand your career and the environment that makes it possible. Be proactive in both getting a better understanding and becoming more valuable to yourself and your company.
Build additional skill sets. When departments are merged, you don’t want to be the guy with only the skills they don’t need anymore. Be more valuable than that. Even if you do get “reduced” you will have something more to offer somewhere else.
Keys for today are flexibility, cross-training, and shift tolerance, for businesses and employees. Companies are consolidating and trimming down. How will you stand out?
Roman Temkin is a real estate developer and mobile entrepreneur in NYC.