Posts Tagged ‘downsizing’

Supportive Exits

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Being an HR practitioner, I’m attentive to hearing what seems like daily stories of individuals losing their jobs due to this economic phase. Investigating this further, I’m finding that many employers are doing the right thing by keeping employees informed as to the state of their business and reducing operational and other costs to avoid layoffs. This makes sense, as individuals are the valued workers that power business success. However, not all employees are receiving support to help them transition to new employment.

Whether you’re the CEO, an Administrative Coordinator, or the Technology Engineer, in the span of our working lives, jobs provide us with core aspects for our wellbeing–as defined in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, including: self esteem, confidence, the respect of others, community/social belonging, challenge and personal growth, finances to provide for our homes, food and medicine. You get the picture – loss of employment, especially in a down market when other jobs aren’t readily available, can affect personal security, self-esteem, and wellbeing.

Individuals need a supportive transition to bridge new employment. With fewer jobs on the market, there are different techniques to secure a new position. Holding out for a full-time permanent position like they once had may have them unemployed for an extensive period. Small contracts lead to longer contracts; temporary employment can lead to permanent. This is the new reality of the workworld.

If a formal program is too costly, source one-on-one HR career consulting services to help them to: understand the new realities, plan, and implement their job search. For example, they’ll need a talent-based resume to stand out. The old style focusing on previous experiences and past skills don’t matter as much as current talents and fundamental strengths. Workplace routine is also out of style; people need to be change-ready with current talents, innovation, and clear thinking in order to meet business goals.

Because it’s the right thing to do

Be a responsible employer – show that you care about your valued employees, as individuals needing transition support to seek new employment. Remaining staff will see their employer “doing the right thing”, and you’ll benefit. People need to know they’re working for an organization that demonstrates they care when it matters most.

2009 Employment Storm

Friday, January 9th, 2009

The current issue of MacLeans headlines “the employment storm of 2009 is on its way”. The main losses will be in construction, mining, oil, gas, and auto manufacturing. Projected job losses will impact industries such as retail, marketing, and advertising. For more information read any newspaper.

Economists, if correct, project that the pain will be brief and we’ll return to prosperity later this year or early in 2010. Optimism and hope for a timely recovery will help all of us head to the light at the end of this tunnel. 

For employers, staff shortages may take a reprieve and turnover levels may go down.  Employees are more likely to stay in their current position and ride out the wave. If they are looking around, they know that even the larger organizations are being impacted by the market. The ego-building period of multiple job offers is also on hold as employers take cautious steps. And, individuals nearing retirement are now extending their exit date to continue earning while they wait for their retirement nest egg to return to health. 

Costs of staff replacement go down, and your intellectual capital is retained.  Teams benefit by having the business knowledge, relationships and expertise intact. Use this time as an opportunity to build internal capacity; develop skillsets for succession planning; and recognize achievements. Increase communication with staff to keep them well informed.  Ask what types of support they need to support them personally.

I heard Suze Orman speaking yesterday – she’s the money guru who just launched a new book on basic financial planning for 2009. She has sound ideas on paying off personal debt, saving, and stabilizing for uncertainty.  Employees could start a discussion group based on the book and share ideas.

Review my previous Two-Minute-Tip on “Market Turmoil” for ideas on maintaining and building healthy employee relations, and keeping productivity levels up.

Who knows, when the market turns around, employees who were thinking of leaving may decide they’re right where they want to be.