Economists from JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley forecast that GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth will “rebound” this first quarter of 2013. However, that doesn’t mean that organizations will not continue to lay off employees, that is conduct a Reduction-in-Force (RIF).
RIFs have become the “new normal” and not only for cost efficiency. As your products/services, market conditions, and technology keep changing so might manpower needs. For example, you are closing down your physical office and becoming an ecommerce business. Here are tips how to manage that RIF to protect your brand, prevent customer/client flight, and maintain positive community relations.
Tell the story of why this is necessary for the business. The deep economic downturn has conditioned all constituencies to accept layoffs as a restructuring must. Explain in detail how the changes will strengthen the business. If you predict eventual growth which can create jobs in the future, say that.
Identify the right mediums at the right time to tell this story to employees, vendors, customers/clients, investors, community leaders, and regulatory agencies. For employees,for example, in-person conversations are the best approach. If you are a public company, all material information must be released to all investors at the same time.
Make effort to place employees within or outside the organization. There may be jobs within your organization employees can fill or you may be able to contract with them for just-in-time assignments. On the night a Connecticut political leader lost the election, in his televised concession speech he appealed to employers to hire his staff. That positioned him as a selfless hero. It can enhance your brand.
Keep constituencies up-to-date about your progress. Layoffs are tricky business because they can send the signal that the organization is in distress. That’s exactly why you must disclose in detail in a timely manner the results coming from the new approaches. For example, what technology have you been able to purchase with the funds freed up from manpower expenses?
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation on your communications, marketing, partnerships, special events, and social media firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-404-4868.