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Employment Downsizing and its Alternatives
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SHRM Foundation s Effective Practice Guidelines Series. Employment, Downsizing and its , Alternatives Strategies for. Long Term Success, Wayne F Cascio, Sponsored by. Right Management, Employment Downsizing and its, Alternatives. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information regarding the subject matter covered Neither the publisher. nor the author is engaged in rendering legal or other professional service If legal advice or other expert assistance is required the services. of a competent licensed professional should be sought Any federal and state laws discussed in this book are subject to frequent revision. and interpretation by amendments or judicial revisions that may significantly affect employer or employee rights and obligations Readers are. encouraged to seek legal counsel regarding specific policies and practices in their organizations . This book is published by the SHRM Foundation an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management SHRM The interpretations . conclusions and recommendations in this book are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the SHRM Foundation . 2009 SHRM Foundation All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America . This publication may not be reproduced stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in whole or in part in any form or by any means electronic . mechanical photocopying recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the SHRM Foundation 1800 Duke Street Alexandria . VA 22314 , The SHRM Foundation is the 501 c 3 nonprofit affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management SHRM The SHRM Foundation. maximizes the impact of the HR profession on organizational decision making and performance by promoting innovation education research. and the use of research based knowledge The Foundation is governed by a volunteer board of directors comprising distinguished HR aca . demic and practice leaders Contributions to the SHRM Foundation are tax deductible Visit the Foundation online at www shrm org foundation . For more information contact the SHRM Foundation at 1 703 535 6020 . 09 0971, Table of, Contents, v Foreword, vii Acknowledgments.
ix About the Author, 1 Employment Downsizing and Its Alternatives . Strategies for Long Term Success, 2 Why Downsizing Happens. 2 When Is Downsizing the Answer , And How to Do It Right. 13 Alternatives to Downsizing, 15 Consequences of Employment Downsizing. 19 Conclusion, 21 Glossary of Terms, 23 References.
29 Sources and Suggested Readings, Foreword, Dear Colleague . Many organizations have faced or will face the decision to downsize. their workforce Especially in tough economic times companies struggle. with how to best manage their most valuable resource their human. resources while staying viable as a business It is this challenge that. led us to prepare this Effective Practice Guidelines report Employment. Downsizing and Its Alternatives , In 2004 the SHRM Foundation developed the Effective Practice. Guidelines series a resource that we believe is one of the best available. for busy HR professionals like you Recognizing that you have little. time to keep up with results of academic research and let s face it . some of it is challenging to wade through as well we created this. series By integrating the latest research findings on what works and. expert opinion on how to conduct effective HR practice into a single. publication we make theory and practice accessible to you . Recent reports in this series all available online include Recruiting and. Attracting Talent Developing Leadership Talent Retaining Talent and. Human Resource Strategy This report on downsizing is the 10th in. the series For each report a subject matter expert is chosen to be the. author After the initial draft is written the report is reviewed by both. academics and practitioners to ensure that the material is research based . comprehensive and presented in an easy to use format We also include a. Sources and Suggested Readings section as a convenient reference tool . This series supports our vision for the SHRM Foundation to maximize. the impact of the HR profession on organizational decision making and. performance by promoting innovation education research and the use. of research based knowledge Overall the Foundation has a strategic. focus on initiatives designed to help organizations maximize leadership. talent We are confident that the Effective Practice Guidelines series. takes us one step closer to making our vision a reality Feel free to let us. know how we are doing , Mary A Gowan Ph D , Chair SHRM Foundation Research Applications Committee. Dean and Professor of Management, Elon University, v. Acknowledgments, The SHRM Foundation is grateful for the assistance of the following.
individuals in producing this report , content Editor. Mary A Gowan Ph D , Dean and Professor of Management. Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, Elon University. Reviewers, Daniel C Feldman Ph D , Associate Dean for Research and International Programs. Terry College of Business, University of Georgia, Lyle S Hanna SPHR.
President, Hanna Resource Group, Merry Lee Lison SPHR GPHR. Director Human Resources, TRC Global Solutions Inc . Penny Miller SPHR, President, Venture HRO LLC, Jenee LeBlanc Olivier. Human Resources Director, Sigma Engineers and Constructors. Project Manager, Beth M McFarland CAE, Manager Special Projects.
SHRM Foundation, This report is sponsored by Right Management Additional funding for. the Effective Practice Guidelines series is provided by the HR Certification. Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management . vii, About the Author , Wayne F Cascio, Wayne F Cascio holds the Robert H Reynolds Chair in Global. Leadership at the University of Colorado Denver Dr Cascio has. consulted with more than 200 organizations on six continents and. is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources . the Academy of Management and the American Psychological. Association He has authored or edited 22 books on human. resource management including Investing in People with John. Boudreau 2008 Managing Human Resources 8th ed 2009 . Responsible Restructuring Creative and Profitable Alternatives. to Layoffs 2002 and Applied Psychology in Human Resource. Management 7th ed with Herman Aguinis forthcoming He. is a two time winner of the best paper award from the Academy. of Management Executive for his research on downsizing and. responsible restructuring , Dr Cascio received his Ph D in industrial and organizational. psychology from the University of Rochester He has served. as president of the Society for Industrial and Organizational. Psychology 1992 1993 chair of the SHRM Foundation 2007 . and chair of the HR Division of the Academy of Management. 1984 He was also a member of the Academy of Management s. Board of Governors from 2003 to 2006 In 1999 he received the. Distinguished Career award from the HR Division of the Academy. of Management Dr Cascio received an honorary doctorate from. the University of Geneva Switzerland in 2004 and in 2008 the. Journal of Management named him one of the most influential. scholars in management in the past 25 years Currently he serves as. editor of the Journal of World Business , ix, Studies have tracked the performance of downsizing firms. versus nondownsizing firms for as long as nine years after a. downsizing event The findings As a group the downsizers. never outperform the nondownsizers , Employment Downsizing and Its Alternatives.
Employment Downsizing and, Its Alternatives Strategies for. Long Term Success, Employment downsizing has become a fact of working life as companies. struggle to cut costs and adapt to changing market demands But does this. practice achieve the desired results Studies have tracked the performance of. downsizing firms versus nondownsizing firms for as long as nine years after a. downsizing event The findings As a group the downsizers never outperform. the nondownsizers Companies that simply reduce headcounts without. making other changes rarely achieve the long term success they desire In. contrast stable employers do everything they can to retain their employees . More than three million Americans lost their jobs in 2008 However 81. percent of the top 100 companies in Fortune s 2009 list of Best Employers. to Work For had no layoffs that year , Employment downsizing is often implemented during economic downturns. as a reactive tactical action The most successful organizations however . use downsizing more strategically as part of an overall workforce strategy . Layoffs become just one tool in a portfolio of alternatives to improve firm. performance Management may view this as an opportunity to enhance the. organization s medium and long term agility through well planned and. targeted coaching change and career management interventions 1. Cisco Systems a company that has changed its workforce strategy in recent. years laid off 20 percent of its workforce in 2001 due to tough times In. 2008 the firm implemented employment downsizing only as a last resort . after deploying several other alternatives The new measured approach. was more consistent with Cisco s long term talent management strategy of. building internal talent rather than buying it in the external labor market 2. This report will explore why downsizing happens and how to do it right It. will also address the alternatives to downsizing and the consequences of a. downsized workforce , 1, Employment Downsizing and Its Alternatives. Why Downsizing that companies with very deep layoffs section offers suggestions for putting. Happens underperform the market by as much downsizing in the context of a well . as eight percent over the ensuing three crafted business strategy . Firms all over the world undertake years 4, downsizing with the expectation that.
they will achieve economic benefits So why are firms still resorting to When is Downsizing. The belief that there are only two ways layoffs In many cases downsizing is the Answer And How. to make money in business cutting a cloning response as companies copy. to Do It Right, costs or increasing revenues leads to their rivals Sometimes this seems to. this expectation Anyone who pays a be the only choice if a company wants Given the speed and depth of the. mortgage knows that future costs are to remain competitive when rivals economic crisis that began in 2007 . more predictable than future revenues reduce wages to cut costs There is also many companies experienced precipitous. Payroll expenses are fixed costs so by a tendency known as the vividness drops in sales and revenue Those drops. cutting payroll other things remaining heuristic to give undue attention hit single line businesses especially hard . equal firms should reduce expenses and weight to particularly vivid or because the drops could not be offset. Reduced expenses translate into newsworthy examples of downsizing 5 by stable revenues or even increases. increased earnings Earnings drive stock Companies that have reaped dramatic in other lines of business With credit. prices higher and this makes investors benefits from downsizing and markets frozen many organizations. and analysts happy The key phrase redesigning business processes such had little choice but to downsize. above is other things remaining equal as General Electric and Procter their workforce in an effort to save. Many organizations define workers only Gamble become templates for how the jobs of those remaining In this. in terms of how much they cost and fail the process works disregarding case downsizing was a reaction to an. to consider the value they create For thousands of companies that cut emergency situation . this reason other things often do not payrolls but continued to struggle . Downsizing can also be part of a, remain equal so many of the anticipated Executive overconfidence exacerbates. broader workforce strategy designed to, benefits of employment downsizing do not this problem A chief executive officer is. align closely with the overall strategy of, materialize far more likely to see himself or herself. the business For example a new business, pulling off what Jack Welch did at GE.
In addition to a smaller payroll a strategy that pursues different products. than to recognize the probability that, downsized organization often means or services and new types of customers. layoffs will make only a trivial difference , may motivate firms to lay off employees. L, ost business as a result of fewer Some companies resort to downsizing with obsolete skill sets and hire new. salespeople because CEOs are worried about employees with the skills to implement. complaints from shareholders and the revised business strategy In this case. L, ack of new products since there, analysts Even before Citigroup and some others see A Downsizing. are fewer R D staff members , announced recent layoffs for example That Worked on the next page6 .
R, educed productivity when a chorus of critics insisted that the downsizing does make sense . high performers leave as morale company was a bloated giant that needed. employment Downsizing and its alternatives Employment downsizing has become a fact of working life as companies struggle to cut costs and adapt to changing market demands

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