Interim Management - The key to surviving the fallout from Covid-19?
2020 will undoubtedly go down in history as the year when Covid-19 effectively shut down the world. As a result, many companies currently find themselves making unprecedented changes to how they operate as a business.
When experiencing any such significant change, transformation or crisis, it is critical that organisations have the leaders in place who possess the experience, knowledge and skillset to navigate through these strategically pivotal periods. Without these leaders, an organisations sustainability, growth and even survival could be at risk.
Professional interim managers are talented, results-driven individuals dedicated to making a difference. They manage turnarounds, accelerate change, and transform businesses in demanding timescales. Bringing intelligence, diligence and rigour which can make the difference between surviving or not. Interim management professionals also possess the credibility to affect the required changes quickly.
The main benefits are:
1. Cost Efficiency
The instinctive reaction is to assume interim managers are an expensive resource, however this isn’t necessarily the case when considering total cost. Interims are a flexible and variable cost option, not a fixed or permanent overhead. Whilst some day rates can appear to be high, the reality is that the hidden costs associated with hiring a permanent, full-time employee can often exceed the total cost of an interim manager at the same level of seniority.
Interims charge only for the days worked with no additional costs for holidays, ENIC, pension or other benefits. Interims can also be paid based on their performance, this could be with bonuses or a milestone payment model, potentially reducing the cost risks for your organisation.
They are also hired for a finite period and organisations often benefits from an over-qualified person for a short period because they can deliver quickly. What a business needs today is unlikely to be what it needs 6 months from now.
The speed of the hiring process for an interim manager is far quicker than that of a permanent employee, with the process taking days instead of weeks or months. Interims can be parachuted in quickly and start working on projects and solutions immediately.
The vast experience and expertise these interim managers possess, allows them to begin positively impacting the organisation almost immediately. This is especially important when the assignment is related to crisis management, where time sensitivity and urgency can be key to business survival.
In contrast, an internal appointment (promotion) or external permanent hire who has limited exposure to other organisational cultures, visions and structures can mean upskilling is necessary prior to bringing about positive change and adding value to the organisation.
3. A fresh set of eyes
While remaining sensitive to a company’s values and culture, having no previous history with your business means they can look at the situation objectively and with clarity. Personalities and politics won’t impact decisions on what’s best for the business.
Interim managers can add a fresh perspective, analysing business needs with a more balanced and unbiased approach than that of a permanent employee. Permanent managers tend to consider the bureaucratic ramifications of their decision making and the potential implications this may have on their career prospects within the organisation.
As they are impartial, it can be much easier for an interim manager to say the difficult things. Senior executives sometimes only hear what the management team thinks they want to hear. This is unlikely to happen with an interim manager; they have no reason to avoid a difficult message.
Interim managers are experienced professionals, used to working completely autonomously, and needing very little direction to get started and make a real difference. Having worked on various types of assignments in many different organisational structures and cultures, the interim manager often possesses a greater cultural understanding and extensive expertise than that of a permanent manager.
Interims are experts within their field. They can bring a ‘fresh perspective’ and a wealth of industry contacts to a company. These high calibre professionals are perfect for guiding the team in the right direction and transferring specialised knowledge.
What many companies are finding most unnerving in the present pandemic is knowing what exactly they need either in terms of skills or investment to make it through. Many interim managers have extensive experience in disaster planning and other related scenarios and businesses can quickly engage an interim resource with the skills to help.
5. Results Driven
Interim managers are judged by results and know that they must deliver. They can act as counsel to the Board while rolling up their sleeves to help deliver the strategy too.
interims are largely delivery/ outcome focused and will seek to understand the key issues/objectives of a business and then set about delivering tangible/measurable results. They can easily adjust to new environments and they act as impartial members of staff who are not concerned with company politics/personalities. Their future contracts depend upon positive feedback from clients therefore this gives an assurance they will carry out tasks to the best of their ability in a timely and professional manner.
6. Legacy Impact
The interim resource will coach or mentor to ensure a smooth and successful transition after the assignment has ended to aid the business transformation process. Overall, interim managers are engaged to deliver flexible and cost-effective transformation solutions at speed.
For companies that require a heavyweight employee who can make a real difference but are reluctant in this climate to take someone on full time, bringing in an interim manager could be the answer.