Our company is downsizing, facing major budget cuts, reorganizing departments and instituting a cross-training program for employees. It's imperative that we effectively manage these process changes and transition into a more productive organization. A goal setting, motivation and stress management program is required to assist employees and management during this transitional time. As we are all aware, we must make our company more responsive to an increasingly competitive global market. We must be more flexible and be able to adapt quickly to the competitive demands of our industry. Product development cycles need to be reduced and our workforce must be able to continually improve our processes to remain competitive. The following is a step-by-step analysis of a proposed reorganization plan. A time line has been established to cover the initial 3-month implementation phase. The plan provides for a high level of employee involvement, the creation of teams to oversee the changes and set objectives, and a structured communication plan to reduce change resistance and insure that our message is being understood.
Step 1 Analysis of Organizational Objectives (Week 1)
"The implementation of a Management by Objectives (MBO) program is an effective solution to make goal setting operational." (Robbins 206) Specific and measurable objectives must be set at the organizational level and then flowed to divisions, departments and individuals. The required budget cuts have already established an initial organizational objective. We must quantity the budget cuts and develop a detailed reduction in work force plan. The loss of employment will be a major destabilizing factor for our company and we should move rapidly to implement the necessary reduction in work force to meet our budget criteria. Our organizational objectives must also cover the specific reorganization objectives that will make our company competitive. The realignment of our organization to reduced process cost, product development cycle times and marketing objectives all need to be defined and set to an aggressive time line. The additional measures that must be taken to achieve our budgets must also be quantified. Indirect costs and travel budgets need to be established and measured against our budgets.
Step 2 Reduction in Work Force Implementation (Week 2)
The uncertainty resulting from a reduction in work force is a major concern for all employees. All too often, I have been involved in layoff situations, downsizing, rightsizing or however management chooses to characterize the manpower adjustment. When the fear of losing your job hangs over your head or your co-workers head, it impacts the entire organization and it overtakes productive efforts. Our manpower should be adjusted to budget and implemented immediately so we can move forward with the reorganization. Downsizing to meet budget criteria will provide a level of stability for our remaining employees. The downsizing plan should be fair. An across the board cut based on lowest seniority is recommended. Exceptions to the layoff plan should be on a case-by-case basis. It is also important how we treat those who will lose their jobs because of the layoff. This will be an important aspect in re-building the trust of our remaining employees. Career counseling and severance benefits should be carefully considered prior to announcing the layoff.
Step 3 Communicating the Plan (Week 3)
"The less distortion that occurs in communication, the more that goals, feedback, and other management messages to employees will be received as they were intended." (Robbins 323) Communicating the plan honestly and openly is critical to achieving the productivity gains that will be required to be competitive. An "all hands" meeting needs to be called to communicate the impact of the layoffs, the organizational objectives and the reorganization plan for...