This is a post in a series from Sarah White and Associates
Downsizing and outsourcing can be an unsettling experience for both employees who are leaving the company and those who will remain after the downsizing is over. With all of the information that passes from one employee to another, they may believe that his or her job position may be next on the chopping block.
Even though there is usually a list of employees or positions targeted for downsizing, management should always protect the employees who are scheduled to remain. If these and other related issues are not addressed in a timely manner, the company may lose some of its best talent to other industry competitors. Therefore, before the news of downsizing is released to any employee, there are some things that should be done to make sure post-transition employees will not jump ship after the downsizing.
Prepare management for the battlefield. With all of the unsettling news, people are normally concerned about their personal welfare even if they are remaining. This means, they may be asking themselves should they find another position with a different company so that they can miss the next go around. The employees who remain are normally valuable players, so it is important for management to ease and eliminate these and other concerns. Therefore, first line and upper level management must be prepared to address specific questions, since the employees may ask similar questions in an open forum.
Provide employees with a positive aftermath picture. When companies downsize, they normally cut the company's expenses dramatically. Therefore, the people who remain can often look forward to hefty incentives and awards for outstanding job performance.
Offer new training programs for upcoming positions. When people see upward mobility as a direct possibility, they are usually more confident that the work place can return to normal. Also, proper training lets employees know that you want them to succeed.
Keeping solid employees from jumping ship after a company downsizes is a challenge for any small or large company. When people feel that their personal survival is at risk, they will begin to look around for other positions. To keep the company's best talent from leaving during these transitions, the management must act proactively with a strategic plan for taking care of post-transition employees.