The word ‘downsizing’ is often accompanied by a cloud of negative connotations, but it is rarely the result of poor employee performance or leadership mismanagement. Instead, downsizing usually results from other factors like an economic slowdown, overcrowded market, plant closure, or manufacturing outsourcing. Downsizing is simply part of running a business, just like managing rapid growth, which means that leadership must plan, manage, and execute it correctly.
At the most basic level, managing downsizing requires four steps: developing selection criteria, determining how much notice to give, providing outplacement support to employees that have been let go (where applicable), and protecting employee productivity and morale among retained workers. These activities are typically considered part of HR’s purview, but downsizing has implications that trickle down into other areas of the business. There are numerous bookkeeping implications during downsizing as well.
Remote work has always been an attractive proposition to employers because they can maintain productivity while cutting costs. Prior to 2020 having a remote workforce was an optional decision. Despite the benefits, many companies still chose to maintain employees in-house to foster a positive organizational culture and reduce technology needs. However, the recent pandemic has proven that external factors can influence the workforce at any time. This has necessitated organizations to be ready to manage the challenges that accompany virtual work even if they do not plan to have employees working remotely permanently.
Managing a remote workforce creates numerous barriers to “business as usual.” Cultural shifts occur, technology demands increase, security risks arise, performance criteria change, and bookkeeping must keep up as well.
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