Having spent nearly 40 years in public sector HR, there are common poor traits which reappear whenever a cuts process is in place. It’s as though the urgency and imperative to save money releases managers from the shackles of good leadership and good practice.
1. Do not reorganise for the sake of it. Often the original has settled to a stable and productive environment. Excessive disruption leads to poor service delivery. Rarely are new structures any better. Tweak and adjust to the new shape and size but minimise the impact.
2. Don’t use redundancy simply as a mechanism to remove unwanted staff. It is disingenuous and costly. Try to be open and honest.
3. Do not rely on anecdotal information, seek evidence. This doesn’t mean some major exercise of research or lengthy benchmarking. Look for good examples and adapt.
4. New blood isn’t always the answer. Diversity of background, age and experience have proven to be the most productive team working experience. Better to introduce innovation ideally through engagement. Use the resources you have but in a better way.
5. Don’t stop recruiting, especially at the entry level. The biggest risk in the longer term is that you end up with a stale, disenchanted workforce, low on motivation. Again maintaining a diverse workforce is key.
The aim should be to achieve the savings result whilst maintaining service and quality. Less is more!
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