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I'm just a girl in the world.. that kind of likes to write. Mom of 2 teen girls & work as Talent Attraction & Marketing professional. Oh, & I'm addicted to my phone, Social Media, HR/Talent Marketing & Caffeine... you can learn more about me at www.linkedin.com/in/theonecrystal

Do You Have a “One-Ply” Toilet Paper Organization??

I had this passing thought while traveling yesterday & decided to write a light-hearted blog about it:  Have you noticed how completely ineffective 1-ply toilet paper is?  Think about it for a minute:  companies choose this option in an effort to save money.  The rationalization is that while it doesn’t feel good; the savings will help reduce costs, which in turn keeps prices down & whatnot.

Except… it doesn’t.   Not really.

It definitely provides less of a pleasant ‘customer experience;’ but companies understand that going in and balance it against organizational needs.  What it doesn’t do, though; is an effective job of wicking away moisture – at least not in a square-by-square comparison.  Of course, it’s only ½ the strength of its 2-ply counterpart… because, well, it’s 1-ply.  So, it lacks the reinforcement necessary to ‘hold up’ & ‘dry’ the same & people end up using twice as much.  This, of course, negates the savings – and can turn off your customers; leaving them to think you’re ‘cheaping out’ in an area that has the potential to affect them long after they leave your facility.  It’s a matter of priorities, loyalty, and relatability.

Seems like a lot to get out of a ply of toilet paper, doesn’t it?

Possibly.  I’m not going to stop going to a restaurant because they have lousy toilet paper.  At the end of the day, though; it’s about resources.  The same principle applied in the decision to cut costs with toilet paper is often the same one used to cut back on staff.  You hear: “Cost-Savings” & your employees hear:  “Do more with less.”  You see a ‘healthier’ bottom-line; and your people see that your priorities aren’t properly aligned with their priorities (1) – that what who they are in relation to the organization can be somewhat trivialized.

Aren’t we here for business??

Yes.  It’s important for a company to turn a profit to maintain viability.  But when you skimp on necessary resources in an effort to “cut back;” you need to ask yourself not only what message are you sending… but what are you really saving??  If it’s a short-term thing in service of a project, goal, or solving a problem; it might work – especially if you include the team in on your vision.  But, in the longer-term, you run into diminishing returns.  People burn out, they stop buying into your vision because you’ve not first bought into them by showing you care.  Workloads aren’t sustainable they way they once were… so things don’t get done the way they used to.  Ultimately, this often means disgruntled end-customers & bringing in new help to replace those that have been cut/subsequently left due to burn-out & losing valuable productivity bringing them up to speed. Like the 1-ply toilet paper; the business is now less effective & people need twice as much to get the same job done as before.

Suddenly the “1-ply savings” that you applied to your people reorganization/downsizing doesn’t seem like such a score after all.  Or maybe I just don’t like 1-ply toilet paper.

(1)    Read:  what they do, how they best do it, and their life outside of work

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