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Change Leadership : Downsizing And Layoff Challenges

Top : Change Leadership : Downsizing And Layoff Challenges

Managing Layoffs For Leaders

What's one of the toughest tasks facing leaders today? It's the process of downsizing, and laying off employees, some of whom may have been with the organization for a very long time.

The challenge goes far beyond the emotional side of the process. What happens after layoffs? Do companies that downsize actually benefit in the long run? It turns out that the research on this is fairly consistent. CEO's surveyed tend to believe (after the fact) that layoffs they were involved in did NOT actually help their organizations.

It's complex. Not only do leaders have to lead a workforce that may be demoralized by seeing good employees -- friends -- let go, but often layoffs cut too close to the bone, leaving hte organization scrambling to do well after they have lost talent.


Perhaps more significantly, leaders tend to focus on getting through layoffs, and tend to pay less attention to "those that remain". That's one reason why research indicates that most executives that lead layoffs end up disappointed in the business results.


There are no easy solutions, except to avoid layoffs entirely, but we live in a short term world.

In this section you'll find help about how to manage the changes associated with downsizing and layoffs.

Advice For Leaders On Downsizing, and Managing and Leading Through Layoffs

  • Downsizing -- The Long Term Effects - Free Article By Robert Bacal
    When managers are faced with downsizing, they tend to focus on the immediate and practical needs that emerge at the time when staff are being let go. After all, employees need to be selected and notified, one of the most difficult tasks for any manager. Jobs responsibilities need to be shuffled, and generally the period where downsizing is occurring is very busy and emotionally taxing. (Added: 15-Oct-2002 Hits: 2550 )
  • Downsizing Dynamics By Robert Whipple
    In this article Robert Whipple looks at how companies often take difficult situations (layoffs and downsizing) and mishandle them, turning them into much bigger disasters that affect longer term survival and mental health of employees. (Added: 14-May-2012 Hits: 1251 )
  • How to Avoid a Layoff By George Gendron
    How one company's workers chose voluntary leaves of absence instead of layoffs. (Added: 18-Feb-2003 Hits: 1600 )
  • How to increase the probability of successful change | Smart Business By Robert S. Olszewski
    Businesses are continuously challenged to deliver products or services faster, at higher quality, and to bring new items or issues to the forefront. Finding the time to address all of the issues businesses face daily is often a challenge in today's fast-paced environment. However, planning for continuous improvement is critical, says Robert S. Olszewski, a director in the Audit & Accounting group at Kreischer Miller, located in Horsham, Pa. "Nothing can be achieved without hard work," says Olszewski. "However, a successful company has the ability to balance between managing today's challenges and planning for the future. A structured business improvement process, discipline and accountability lead to the development of systems and strategies that leverage the future and foster the true value of a business. Improvement involves assessing the now, where and how. (Added: 2-May-2013 Hits: 1046 )
  • Leadership: Layoffs, morale and right-communication By Jamie Walters
    Great article on layoffs, how most play out and actually have a negative business result, and some suggestions on how to come out of the other side of layoffs with less damage (Added: 11-Nov-2014 Hits: 1244 )
    Most companies have no plan associated with downsizing other than to reduce their cost structure using the easiest means possible, namely reduce head count. The positive impact is questionable. A recent American Management Association study reported that within a year, only 46 percent of downsized companies reported increased profits, and only 33 percent reported increased productivity. (Added: 15-Oct-2002 Hits: 1123 )
  • Reflective Leadership in the Age of Layoffs By Dan Oestreich
    A different take on layoffs and leadership. The author suggests that layoffs, and advice on how to survive them suffers from a lack of reflection on deeper issues in the organization -- integrity, vision, values, service culture. (Added: 11-Nov-2014 Hits: 1106 )
  • Surviving downsizing: How to keep morale high when times are tough By Barbara Morris
    Leaders can take steps to counter the tendency for both morale and productivity to nose dive when layoffs are implemented. Whether it's possible to keep HIGH is something you'll have to decide after reading these suggestions. (Added: 11-Nov-2014 Hits: 2604 )
  • Survivors Can Soar After Downsizing By Susan Heathfield
    This might be a bit over optimistic, since layoff survivors aren't likely to soar in the short term, but it does provide some important tips for leaders tasked with getting through layoffs and maintaining productivity. (Added: 11-Nov-2014 Hits: 1467 )
  • - Managers making layoffs can feel demoralized By USAToday
    As we see downsizing occurring all over all industries today, it is important to consider all aspects of the layoff process. Not only is it difficult for the people who are no longer employed, the ramifications can be felt throughout the organization. It is critical to share information with people In addition, don't overlook the difficult position of the manager forced to actually have the layoff conference with the team. USA Today shares an interesting perspective on this topic. (Added: 15-Oct-2002 Hits: 1010 )

More Topics Related To Managing And Leading Through Layoffs And Right Sizing

  • Change Leadership
  • Leadership During A Crisis
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    Pages Updated On: 31-May-2021 - 13:54:11


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