During slowdown, employee downsizing results in decreased morale, motivation, organisational commitment and engagement, affecting performance at work,” says Uday Salunkhe Group Director, Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research.
This reality has been under-acknowledged in the Indian corporate context due to multiple reasons. The most important one is that, unlike now, for a long period of time, job creation always exceeded job losses.
Appropriate communication is the key to avoid the side-effects of downsizing. By means of general staff meetings and briefings by line managers, the company should clearly communicate to the employees how restructuring and diversion of saved-costs in revenue earning processes will help the company drive towards growth and profitability. Employees should be encouraged to share their concerns.
Reiterate the fairness of the decisions. Decision makers should try to establish trust and engagement by ensuring transparency in the steps taken. The survivors will show more commitment to the organisation when they feel that everyone was given a fair treatment.
The remaining workforce should be ‘mentally preoccupied’ with the recovery process and the excitement of the challenge. Next, there should be flow of positive energy to keep the workforce motivated. It is also the best time for the organisational leadership to improve training that is directed towards business results.
After all, a crisis should never go waste. It is the best time for leaders to capture the imagination of the workforce, to ‘build muscle’ for which the workforce might not have had the luxury in good times.
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