top of page
< Back

5 Ways to Optimize Your Workforce for the Challenges Ahead

By Dena Cordova-Jack

5 Ways to Optimize Your Workforce for the Challenges Ahead

Lumberyards can expect hard times and harder decisions in 2024. The fat revenues that came from soaring lumber prices have melted away. Dealers that had let their expenses swell will now have to rebalance their P&L’s, likely through personnel cuts and other savings. For dealers that kept capital expenditures under control, this normally would be an opportunity to grab laid-off workers, but a slew of factors will continue making it hard to find good people.

If you’re a lumberyard leader, know that the strategic decisions you’ll make in the coming months will be critical to your company’s long-term viability. Among those key choices, workforce optimization stands at the forefront. Here are ways to help assess and reshape the team to meet 2024’s challenges and set yourself up for future success.

A 360-Review comprehensively assesses an employee’s performance, skills, and contributions based on input from colleagues along with supervisors. As a result, this tool can provide a well-rounded perspective on an individual's value to the entire organization, helping identify people whose talents might have gone unrecognized by management, making sure that you’re not overlooking a diamond in the rough.

As organizations streamline staff and flatten org charts, targeted training programs can enhance skills and thus ensure the retained workforce is well-equipped to meet evolving job requirements. These programs will contribute to the long-term resilience and competitiveness of the organization.

Selective hiring also might be in the cards, but don’t think that layoffs at other dealers will make the job easier. The U.S. has a shrinking workforce, a declining birthrate, retiring Baby Boomers and older Gen X’ers, and the withdrawal of less-skilled tradesmen from the workforce, affecting the labor participation rate. Given these challenges, the workforce optimization choices we make will be even more critical.

If you have to implement a Reduction in Force Plan, do it based on data and a thought-out strategy. Evaluate the skills needed for every position—and particularly which skills no longer align with evolving job requirements. Assess how (or whether) each team member contributes meaningfully to strategic objectives. Evaluate the impact of potential cuts on team dynamics. Ensuring the remaining team members can collaborate effectively is crucial for maintaining productivity and morale. And identify areas of the organization poised for future growth, then strategically retain talent aligning with these growth trajectories.

Finally, consider outplacement services for departing workers. These services help with resume writing, interview coaching, and general career advice, empowering employees to navigate the job market successfully. By providing this support, companies demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of their employees, leaving them feeling good about you...and less likely to tarnish your brand.

The Misura Group can help you with services that optimize workforce efficiency, support departing employees, and prepare the remaining team for future growth. Our expertise can help your organization make strategic, informed decisions that will weather the current economic storm and position you for sustained success in the years to come.

Live fearlessly,


bottom of page