Reorganizing, mergers and downsizing are
part of your organizational life, affecting both your employees being terminated and
those who remain. Terminated employees may lose self-confidence and
motivation, and have difficulties finding other work.
Your remaining employees may distrust you and your organization, and show decreased
loyalty, morale and productivity.
Your remaining employees may perceive the laid off employees
as victims, and you as a victimizer. Your remaining employees may identify with
those who are laid off, especially if they feel that the victims
were poorly compensated. Victim Identification is a systemic
diagnosis associated with overt and covert demonstrations of irrational anger
Conversely, if a company is perceived to care for displaced
workers, remaining employees can become more committed - even during a
layoff. Companies can consider the cost of employee discontent, and manage downsizing
to maintain the loyalty of remaining employees.
Employee loyalty is affected by equity, security, management,
integrity, empowerment, communications, benefits and support - which will
all be analyzed and discussed during downsizing. Good
relationship management can avoid some hazards of downsizing.
Poorly-planned downsizing can do worse than darken your company image.
Angry employees may precipitate expensive lawsuits, family tragedies, punitive awards and
outrageous settlements. You can minimized all of these if you assist
departing employees to become re-employed.
assists executives and managers through six phases of downsizing. We assist managers, employees and their families to make this
transition, while promoting an organization as community-oriented. This package
can motivate remaining employees, reduce legal
costs, avoid excessive severance payments and simplify later hiring.
We also coach employees to cope with their loss. We help rebuild confidence, identify strengths,
target areas of knowledge and skills, and coach employees to find new work.
key points are:
1. Manage Communication:
- Communicate with employees honestly
- Broadcast official news of a downsizing
- Explain reasons for restructuring
- Provide frequent opportunities for questions
- Meet employee representatives
2. Manage Employee knowledge:
- Which skills are transferable
- Effective resumes and cover letters
- Question interviewers
- Respond to interview questions
- Who is suited for self-employment
3. Manage Selection:
- Identify essential skills needed by the organization
- Identify employees with those essential skills
- Evaluate employees performance
- Performance records
- Ensure selection criteria are consistently applied
4. Manage Dismissal:
- Respect employees' personal worth
- Keep initial conversations to 10 minutes
- Guide employees to services for finding work
- Provide information about benefit packages
- Referr employees to out-placement services
5. Manage Outplacement:
- Paid notice
- Career placement services or consultants
- On-site job listings around the country
- On-site job placement services
- Counselors and/or support groups
6. After it's over:
- Meetings with remaining employees
- Reassure remaining employees that their jobs are safe
- Answer employee questions and/or concerns
- Involve employees in planning
- Focus on the future, learn from the past
You can improve organizational performance,
quality and reputation - even when down-sizing and terminating
employees. Well-planned downsizing can develop your company image, while
avoiding angry employees, expensive lawsuits and family tragedies.
Systemic Solutions can dignify these transitions and assist departing
employees, while promoting your organization as community-oriented.
Successful downsizing motivates remaining employees, reduces legal
costs, avoids excessive severance payments and will attract future
Martyn Carruthers served
on Royal Navy nuclear submarines, was a
and trainer at British and Canadian nuclear power stations, and Radiation
Officer for the Canadian government, where he liaised between industrial,
departments, hospitals, military, educational
and emergency organizations.
He founded Systemic Solutions and
Soulwork Systemic Coaching,
complete systems of effective coaching and coach training.
Plagiarism is theft © Martyn Carruthers 2002,
2008, All rights reserved