Implementing Your Turnaround Plan

A turnaround plan presupposes that someone will be around to implement it. A lack of execution or inappropriate one (timing or lack of adaptation) will quickly undermine all earlier efforts that went into drafting the plan. Control over operations is therefore a must–no single part of the business should monopolize the company’s attention and efforts.

Controlling Operations


The motivational skills of a “take charge” leader can enhance job performance in many ways. Many employees complain they are not being used effectively because they don’t have enough to do or their efforts are being applied inappropriately. Management that makes the most of employee work efforts has a knack for spotting actions that, if performed immediately, will have a tremendous, positive impact on company success.


To ensure that operations are monitored and controlled correctly, the individual who reviews system reports must make decisions based on indicators of company efficiency. For example, if variance reports show (project or product) costs exceeding budget, action must be taken immediately to prevent further overruns. Similarly, if non-payment has a vendor worried, the top financial manager must find a way to keep the vendor on board so a return to profitability can occur.

Sound management is exhibited when field operations or internal reports require responses to abnormalities. For example, a business owner in the midst of a turnaround had a new hire (< 2 months) supervisor request on Thursday to take Monday and Tuesday off to pursue some personal matters. The business owner was not in a production crunch and was short on cash, so he approved the time off–particularly since the supervisor was not using vacation (paid) time to take leave. When the supervisor strode onto the job Monday late morning, the owner was surprised. When he requested to work the balance of Monday and all of Tuesday, the owner declined the request, citing that she had to make other arrangements that inconvenienced others and that last-minute notice would not be accommodate in this or future instances.

In this instance, the owner did what was necessary to maintain control over operations. Though it may have ruffled the supervisor’s feathers for a few days, it demonstrated the importance of setting policies and commitments–and living by them. It was also to the owner’s advantage not to have to pay the supervisor for work that had been reassigned to someone else. Proper planning was used to make sure that someone would be able to supervise the work. Additional follow-up was necessary to make sure no problems were slowing down production for those two days. Had the owner failed to exercise sound management, proper planning, or follow-up, she would have lost time, money and credibility with others due to one employee’s circumstances.

Focusing on Common Objectives

Getting employees to focus on common objectives is a difficult task. Executives an managers who are able to motivate their workers to avoid distractions, do their jobs effectively, and remember to follow the turnaround plan do so with tremendous skills/abilities.

Employee Problem Solving

Employees can best avoid distractions and aid in the turnaround process by quickly resolving issues in which they have innate skills and referring all other issues to appropriate personnel. Additionally, employees should report any persisting problems or confrontations to the executive team.

Problem-solving should be a relatively painless process, requiring only that he or she utilize skills learned on the job and “do what seems best” based on prior experience. If an employee has little or no experience in the problem area , she should not hesitate to find someone who is experienced. It is far better to admit a need for help than to take a chance on behalf of the company.

Employees should be reassured that involving others is not “shirking” or “dumping” work into another’s lap. Rather, this process is a way of relieving employees of the likelihood of error in making an uninformed decision. However, employees are not absolved from making sure the problem is resolved. Make it a habit of celebrating when employees help one another out to build camaraderie.


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