In the past few months has experienced a different kind of reality – one that there was no time to prepare for! A lot of new practices have been coming to the forefront to deal with all the requirements that the business is trying to manage through.

Working capital management has become imperative and businesses are forced to rationalize their costs. While this is important in tough times, it is equally important to look at the scenario objectively rather than by implementing a rash of impulsive cost cutting measures blindly which may show savings in the short term but may become problematic in the long term. For most businesses, a major direct hit comes from the cost of the workforce and it is very normal to look out for opportunities to generate huge saving by rationalizing the organisation structure. It is, of course, not easy to downsize the workforce because business has to be done and the positions that remain in the company take on a larger share of the workload. Besides the emotional element of parting ways with some trained good performers it also leads to low employee morale for those remaining with the company. While rationalizing the workforce it is, therefore, important to consider some best practices such as outplacement services, counselling support both at an individual & group level, and providing a supportive exit both from a financial and emotional perspective. When people are treated well during such a transition, they will naturally hold the organisation in higher regard and subsequently communicate these feelings to those with whom they come into contact with.

Individual Counselling –

Individualized support and counselling in the career transition process has yielded great value to the affected employee and the organisation. From the usual, formidable, challenges of finding a new job in a tough market to the mental trauma of losing a job, income and the resultant impact on their self-esteem, these are major transitions, and nothing is more valuable than helping the individual to assess different options for the future by an experienced counsellor who can listen objectively, ask hard questions, and guide and recommend a possible course of action. When the economy starts strengthening (yes, this will happen!) and recovers from the current lows, businesses will have to assess how they will proactively energize their workplace to meet the demands of a rejuvenated marketplace. As business rebounds, corporate leaders will have to position themselves for an economic, competitive advantage through improved organisational agility. The best leaders understand the road to business performance is through people performance. Leaders can renew their organisation spirit, rebuild their business and rekindle their culture by building a corporate community starting right now. A corporate community is defined as a group of people who share common objectives, clear roles and established expectations. Building such a community requires both tactical and insightful expertise — it takes cornerstones, milestones and touchstones. The way in which a company leadership develops and motivates its team members will impact its ability to attract and retain the best talent over the long term — enabling companies to keep the best players even during the current lows of business while building their future stars.

In Conclusion –

If downsizing has to happen as a last resort it is extremely important to do this in a humane manner. Research sows that lay offs not only impact those that are leaving an organisation, the impact on those that are staying in an organisation is very significant. Communication and community building are very helpful during these times. In addition, helping separating employees manage the psychological aspect through professional help is very important as well.

The author, Anita Belani, is Co-Founder of Emotionally. Ref. The Economic Times – HR World

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