Learning & Development

More Tips for Developing Your Employees as Your Company Is Downsizing

Continuing from yesterday’s post, here are more tips and best practices for how you can continue developing your employees and programs as your company is downsizing. 


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Encourage Thoughtful Innovation

If your company is downsizing, chances are high that it needs a new dose of thoughtful innovation to propel it forward to being successful again. Instead of leaving your employees in the dark while executives are stressing out, allow them to be a part of solving your organization’s dilemma.
Do you need to figure out how to land a new top-level client because you lost a large account? Are your operational expenses exceeding your product costs and overhead costs? Let your employees help you find a solution that works for everyone. Let them propose ideas for new schedules, operational processes, and more.
You could even host lighthearted competitions to keep it fun and entertaining. Most employees will welcome the challenge. And because they are in the everyday throes of your organization’s work, processes, and output, they will be a great resource to tap into.

Give Back to Your Employees, and Be Willing to Make Sacrifices

The best way to continue to develop your employees as your organization is downsizing is to give back to them. Let them have those flex schedules you’ve been denying them. Closing your offices 1 or 2 days a week while people work from home could help cut business costs anyway. Or, host fun events every so often where your employees meet and discuss new ideas and relax.
While these things might seem counterintuitive at first, they will boost your employees’ morale and remind them that you do still care about their well-being, learning and development, and what they do for your business. And that will encourage them to help you solve your dilemma and stick it out until the end if necessary.

Establish New Goals, Metrics, Responsibilities, and Programs

Your organization will change shape as it downsizes, and you’ll need to establish new goals, metrics, and responsibilities for those teams that were affected and altered. You’ll need to create new training programs or materials for those employees who are taking on new tasks or whose job descriptions changed altogether. And you’ll need to ensure that each employee knows what his or her new responsibilities will be and how his or her performance will be measured moving forward.
For instance, if you decide to merge your marketing and social media departments, you’ll need to consider implementing cross-training programs and will need to set expectations for the new roles that are being either combined or created as a result.

Follow Up with Your Employees After Downsizing Occurs

Once your organization has completed its downsizing process, follow up with employees to ensure they are aware of what’s expected of them and that they have the skills they need, and ask them if there’s any type of coaching, mentoring, or development opportunity that will help them excel in their new environment. Whatever you do, don’t pretend like nothing happened, and work to ease their fears and apprehensions so that they’ll want to continue to stay and grow with your organization.
Keep the tips and best practices listed above and in yesterday’s post in mind if you want to keep developing your employees as your company is downsizing.

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