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Staff Reduction: How to Do More With Less Essay (Article)

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Updated: Jan 14th, 2022

With the current economic down turn, companies have resulted to measures aimed at cutting costs. Reducing staff costs by laying off workers is the most preferred way of doing this. How to sustain or boost morale for the remaining work force can be a nightmare for the management. The management needs to assure the staff that all is well with company and convince them why staff reduction took place.

Global business competition and the attendant cost of doing business has left the companies with no option but to send some workers home while making sure that the business performance is not affected, this is a delicate balancing act. It means that the staff have to work extra hours to deliver the same if not better results or work extra hard to accomplish the same task within the same time frame. Since the company‘s objective is to reduce costs, no incentives are offered to improve performance. This often leads to frustrations especially for the employees who have worked longer in the organization. Employees feel overworked and unappreciated and therefore go about their work as routine. Research shows over 20% of the work force are frustrated not because they don’t like what they do but because they find themselves doing the wrong jobs as the management tries to make up for the laid off workforce.

Attempts by the managers to motivate such employees fails to give results as they are not able to prioritize tasks, confusion sets in and as result performance is very dismal. Managers therefore must strive to reorganize their work schedules whenever staff reductions take place. There are four ways of achieving the organizations goal even with a lean workforce.

First the tasks must be classified in order of importance. Priorities should be given to the work that must be with staff and time constraints. Managers should assign these tasks to the most competent individuals to ensure that the tasks are efficiently handled and within the shortest time possible.

Secondly, routine tasks that do not add value should be shelved in the meantime. There is need to re-evaluate the work processes so as to focus on areas that are important in delivering results. Since the manager knows the target areas, key staff should allocated work in these areas and avoid routine tasks that can be performed by junior staff.

The third aspect is continuous training of the existing staff. Work environment is very dynamic and you may find that the skills required to perform certain tasks two years ago are no longer useful. By continuously training staff, the manager ensures that the company has the right people for the job and therefore performance is always at peak.

The fourth step has to do with freedom of the employees to perform their duties. Having trained the staff, it follows that they are competent enough to work with less or no supervision. As such the management should give some level of authority to the employees to allow them make some decisions to help them have confidence in their work. A manager who is meddlesome only stifles employees growth as they are afraid of come up with ideas about improved work performance.

Form the above argument, it is clear that staff reduction should not be viewed as taking a gamble with a company’s future growth strategy; rather it should be used to stir up staff performance by unleashing their full potential.

Works Cited

Royal, Mark and Agnew, Tom. Four ways to do more with Less. Bloomberg Business Week. 2011.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Staff Reduction: How to Do More With Less'. 14 January.

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