Managing Change due to Downsizing and Outsourcing
Among the most aggravating sources of integration problems in American companies are issues employees have with change in companies. Managing change is an important aspect of every manager’s job, and it is a necessary evil in all companies at one time or another. Making employees feel comfortable through a process of change should be of paramount concern to any manager worth her salt. Change in companies is where any material protocol or element of a job is different and makes the new procedure outside of the employees’ comfort zones. Effective handling can be difficult, especially in two extremely sensitive areas: downsizing and outsourcing. Downsizing occurs when a company realizes that, for one reason or another, they must cut their workforce in order to protect the finances of the company, or for other legitimate reasons. Outsourcing occurs when a company must take an aspect of their operation and give it to another independent outside company. This is also done for legitimate financial purposes. Though these two operations are done for legitimate financial reasons and for the survival of the company, they are often times the most difficult element of change to deal with as a manager because of how much they affect the employees. If a manager considers the effect of downsizing and outsourcing from the perspective of the employee, it is easy to see how perception of such change can affect the employee much more than other types of change. For example, if a company begins integrating new software for employee use, the change that occurs will be dealt with by teaching the employees how the new software will actually help them. The employees do not see a threat to their jobs in this scenario; they simply may be angry or upset because they want to do things the old way or are intolerant to change. However, the type of change that a manager must face in downsizing and outsourcing are those that deeply affect employee psyche because en employee will feel as if their job is at risk and their entire work performance may suffer because of this ongoing fear. Employees know that if downsizing happens or outsourcing is implemented that they may be the next ones to lose their job to someone at a different company or due to financial resources. This fear could cause a normally great employee to lose focus on their tasks at hand and worry more about what is happening in management meetings, what other employees are talking about, and concern themselves with whether they should be looking for another job. An employee may turn against their own company and begin to see them as more of an adversary, rather than doing their best to work in the company’s service. An employee could lose motivation and begin to wonder why they are working so hard. This constant fear takes a largely unnecessary financial toll on a company that is losing productivity for no reason. This is especially unnecessary for an employee that has nothing to worry about because their job isn’t at risk at all. An effective manager, using their personal resources, may do a great job at quelling the fears of the employee so that way they can get back to their tasks at hand. Potential ways to approach changes and begin to manage them should take place at the beginning, before the changes even take place. If the manager approaches breaking the news to their staff in a considerate way, then the transition should not be difficult. A manager should consider the reasons that the company is making its changes and to understand the practical reasons for the changes that occur before going to their employees with the information. If a manager knows exactly why the changes are taking place and is well education on the fundamental reasons why the changes are occurring, the manager will be better equipped to approach the employee with...