By Robyn Crigger – OI Partners USA

What employer wants to experience a downsizing? No one that I know! And yet this happens over and over. Is there a way
to avoid a downsizing or find an alternative path? Not always, but YES, there are some proactive steps an employer can take if looking ahead and partnering with their human resource manager/director.

Often there are circumstances that stimulate or produce such negative activity in a business or organization, where the only solution “seems” to be a downsizing. But what are some examples of these circumstances and what other alternatives might result in positive outcomes? Here are a few examples:

If your workforce is a very diverse group (age, race, culture, religion, gender…), there may exist frequent communication clashes and conflicts. In this case, such a problem may dramatically decrease productivity or cause a decline in the quality of work. Trying to fire those who are causing more of the problem may be hard to determine. Instead, consider providing effective communication workshops or conflict resolution workshops. This demonstrates how you value your employees.

Many companies use the idea that if a person is a “good employee”, he/she would also make a good manager. However, this is often untrue. Instead, that newly promoted manager, if not given proper management training, could cause some substantial turnover of workers/employees. Depending on how many employees are affected or exit, this could negatively impact your company. Instead, reward your “good employees” by investing in their future.

Another situation that can help when your workforce is not pulling together or being as productive as they should or need to be is to offer team-building workshops. Any organization can experience feeling disjointed, and a team-building program can help production to run much more smoothly and efficiently. Teach your employees the value of teamwork.

Of course, we all know the importance of good leaders. Some say “leaders are born,” but our experience is “good people are born, but strong, effective leaders are trained!!” As some of our mature and experienced leaders choose to retire, companies need to carefully select and provide effective leadership training in order to have a healthy and successful future.  Some top executives would also benefit from executive coaching.

Taking proactive steps and investing in your workforce is much more rewarding and positive than watching your organization fall apart. Outplacement is an excellent service when needed, but note that there are some proactive alternatives.