As a leader of your organization, you understand the challenge of downsizing and the impact it has on the employees who are affected. It can be especially difficult for those who have been in demanding roles with your company and suddenly find themselves invisible, despite being indispensable just moments before. Unfortunately, this is happening to hundreds of thousands of employees, from senior executives to hourly workers, at an increasingly rapid rate in 2023.
While companies have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders, investors, and stakeholders to remain viable, those who lose their jobs experience stages of grief similar to the death of a loved one. They must face the financial anxiety that comes with a loss of consistent income, healthcare benefits, and other corporate trappings. Additionally, there's the uncertainty of finding a new job in a market where resumes and LinkedIn profiles are screened by algorithms, and there's no guarantee of an interview or job offer.
What you don't often hear about is the "gut punch" that employees feel when they receive the news that they're no longer needed. It's as though everything they worked on, the relationships they built with clients and colleagues, and their contributions to the company are now meaningless. For many of us, our self-esteem and self-worth are tied to what we do, rather than who we are. Suddenly, we're no longer an "xyz", and we're left searching for a new identity.
While it's true that eventually, most people will find that when one door closes, another one opens, getting to that realization is a difficult process. Employees must first reconcile the fact that their previous role and their happiness at the company no longer exist. They must realign their thinking and believe that they are indispensable and that they need to find a place that sees them the same way.
Organizational resourcing and planning is a critical part of business success. It involves identifying the company's resource needs, such as human capital, technology, and financial resources, and developing a plan to acquire and manage those resources effectively. Organizational resourcing and planning failure can lead to inefficiencies, missed opportunities, and ultimately, business failure. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the reasons why organizations fail at resourcing and planning and provide tips on how to avoid those pitfalls.
How to avoid the the downsizing conversations
In today's dynamic business environment, companies must walk a tightrope between organizational flexibility and agility and their economic and competitive environment. This applies not only to products and services but also to human resources. Companies must be able to adjust their workforce as needed to respond to changing market conditions, new technologies, or shifts in customer demand. However, downsizing can be a painful process for both the company and the employees affected. It is crucial for leaders to understand the impact of these decisions and take steps to minimize the negative effects on employees.
Why Having Flexibility and Agility with Your Human Resources is Important:
Responding to Changes: Companies need to be able to respond quickly to changes in the market, customer demand, and emerging technologies. This means being able to adjust their workforce as needed. A company that is inflexible and unable to adapt quickly may find itself unable to compete effectively.
Cost Control: One of the primary reasons companies downsize is to control costs. By reducing headcount, companies can reduce payroll expenses, benefits costs, and other related expenses. This can help a company remain competitive and profitable.
Efficient Resource Allocation: Downsizing can help companies allocate resources more efficiently. By reducing headcount in one area, a company can reallocate those resources to other areas where they may be needed more.
Strategic Planning: Downsizing can be an important part of a company's strategic planning process. By analyzing their workforce and identifying areas of redundancy or inefficiency, a company can make better decisions about where to invest its resources.
Improved Organizational Culture: When a company is flexible and agile with its human resources, it can create a more positive organizational culture. Employees are more likely to feel valued and supported when they see that their company is willing to make tough decisions to remain competitive.
if you have to downsize, use transparency and AUTHENTICITY
Provide as Much Notice as Possible: In the realm of downsizing, procrastination is not an ally. Providing employees with as much notice as possible is crucial. This allows them to prepare for the change and start exploring alternative employment options. Remember, bad news doesn't get better with age.
Be Transparent: Companies should be transparent with employees about the reasons for downsizing and the criteria used to determine who will be let go. This can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety employees may feel during this difficult time.
Offer Support: Companies should offer support to employees who are being let go. This could include job search assistance, career counseling, or financial planning services.
Be Respectful: Downsizing is a difficult process for everyone involved. Companies should be respectful and compassionate when communicating with employees who are being let go. This can help employees maintain their dignity during this difficult time.
Follow Appropriate Procedures: Companies should follow appropriate procedures when downsizing. This includes complying with any legal requirements related to layoffs, such as the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. Companies should also consult with their legal counsel to ensure that they are following appropriate procedures.
When should you hire a contractor, agency or employee
One of the biggest decisions a business owner can make is whether to hire a contractor, agency, or employee. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right one depends on a variety of factors. In this blog post, we'll explore the differences between contractors, agencies, and employees, and when to choose each option.
Contractors are individuals or companies that provide specific services for a set fee. They work independently and are not considered employees of the business that hires them. Contractors are often used for short-term projects or for services that are not needed on a regular basis.
Advantages of Hiring a Contractor:
Cost Savings: Hiring a contractor can be less expensive than hiring an employee because the business does not have to pay for benefits, taxes, or other expenses associated with hiring an employee.
Specialized Skills: Contractors often have specialized skills or expertise that can benefit the business. They can provide a high level of expertise and experience that may not be available in-house.
Flexibility: Contractors can be hired for short-term projects or for services that are not needed on a regular basis. This provides flexibility for businesses to hire resources as needed without having to commit to long-term employment.
Disadvantages of Hiring a Contractor:
Lack of Control: Businesses have less control over the work of contractors than employees. Contractors work independently and are responsible for their own work, which may not always align with the needs of the business.
Legal and Tax Issues: Hiring contractors can create legal and tax issues if they are misclassified as employees. Businesses must ensure that they are following all relevant laws and regulations when hiring contractors.
Potential for Inconsistent Quality: Because contractors work independently, the quality of their work may be inconsistent. This can create challenges for businesses that require consistent quality across projects.
When to Hire a Contractor:
- Short-term projects or services that are not needed on a regular basis.
- Specialized skills or expertise that are not available in-house.
- Flexibility to hire resources as needed without committing to long-term employment.
Agencies are companies that provide staffing services to businesses. They typically provide a range of services, from temporary staffing to direct placement services. Agencies are often used when businesses need to hire a large number of employees quickly or when they do not have the resources to manage the hiring process themselves.
Advantages of Hiring an Agency:
Large Pool of Candidates: Agencies have access to a large pool of candidates, which can be beneficial when businesses need to hire a large number of employees quickly.
Reduced Hiring Burden: Agencies handle the hiring process, which can reduce the burden on businesses that do not have the resources to manage the process themselves.
Specialized Services: Agencies often provide specialized services, such as background checks and drug testing, which can be beneficial for businesses that require these services.
Disadvantages of Hiring an Agency:
Cost: Hiring through an agency can be more expensive than hiring employees directly because the agency charges a fee for its services.
Quality of Candidates: The quality of candidates provided by agencies may not always be consistent, which can create challenges for businesses that require consistent quality across employees.
Lack of Control: Businesses have less control over the hiring process when using an agency, which can create challenges if the agency does not understand the needs of the business.
When to Hire an Agency:
- Large-scale hiring needs.
- Limited resources to manage the hiring process.
- Specialized services, such as background checks and drug testing.
Employees are individuals who work directly for the business and are considered part of the company's workforce. They are hired to perform specific tasks and are paid a salary or wage. Employees are often used for long-term projects or ongoing work that requires consistent support.
Advantages of Hiring an Employee:
Control: Businesses have more control over the work of employees than contractors or agency workers. They can provide specific training and guidance to ensure that work aligns with the needs of the business.
Consistent Quality: Employees are part of the company's workforce and are held to a high standard of quality. This ensures that work is consistent across projects and aligns with the company's goals and objectives.
Long-term Commitment: Employees are committed to the company and provide consistent support over the long term. This provides stability for the business and can help reduce turnover.
Disadvantages of Hiring an Employee:
Cost: Hiring an employee can be more expensive than hiring a contractor or agency worker because the business is responsible for benefits, taxes, and other expenses associated with hiring an employee.
Hiring Process: The hiring process for employees can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Businesses must take the time to find the right candidates, conduct interviews, and onboard new employees.
Lack of Flexibility: Employees are committed to the company over the long term, which can limit flexibility for the business if needs change.
When to Hire an Employee:
- Ongoing work that requires consistent support.
- Work that aligns with the company's goals and objectives.
- Need for control over the work and quality of the employee.
Organizational resourcing and planning is a critical part of business success that involves identifying the company's resource needs and developing a plan to acquire and manage those resources effectively. Failure in organizational resourcing and planning can lead to inefficiencies, missed opportunities, and ultimately, business failure. Downsizing can be a painful process for both the company and the employees affected, and leaders should take steps to minimize the negative effects on employees, such as providing as much notice as possible, being transparent, offering support, being respectful, and following appropriate procedures. Companies need to be flexible and agile with their human resources to respond quickly to changes in the market, customer demand, and emerging technologies. Choosing whether to hire a contractor, agency, or employee can be a challenging decision for businesses, and the right option depends on a variety of factors such as the type of work, the need for control and consistency, and the budget. By understanding the differences between contractors, agencies, and employees and the situations in which each option is best suited, businesses can make informed decisions about their resourcing and planning needs.