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HRM'S Role in Down Sizing

Downsizing can radically change the structure of an organization. Describe HRM's role in making the change succeed. If possible, apply your discussion to an actual effort that has recently occurred.

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Emboldened by the success of management gurus like General Electric Co.'s Jack Welch, chief executives have jumped on the downsizing bandwagon in droves. For every company that has rebuilt itself in GE's image, however, many more, like the one mentioned above, are floundering. Trimming a workforce is often harder than it appears, especially when management fails to envision how the company will operate after the staff shrinks.

HR professionals often wonder about their role in make downsizing work for their businesses - and determining when downsizing is the wrong choice. Part of the problem lies in the fact that HR has yet to be considered a full business partner in many organizations. As a result, it often is not included in downsizing plans at an early stage.

But the earlier HR is involved in the planning process, the more likely a downsizing will be successful. Even an HR department that has previously been limited to a compliance role can help smooth the downsizing process. That's because downsizing is a chaotic, emotional and uncertain experience. To survive it, companies must rely on skills that are at the heart of the HR profession: workforce planning, training and skills assessment, and communication.

By easing the downsizing process, HR departments can help their companies remain competitive while boosting the image and acceptance of the profession as a business partner.

When HR is not involved in the planning stages of a downsizing effort, many things can go wrong. Valuable employees can jump ship - and so can marginal workers who could have been retrained to better perform other jobs within the company. Incorrect information - or a lack of information - can breed mistrust of management and dampen employee morale among survivors of layoffs. Or, the company can cut too deeply into its workforce, forcing it to rehire laid-off workers.

source: http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3495/is_6_44/ai_54994203

The preferred role of the HR professional is to facilitate, maybe even adopt ownership of, the accomplishment of the following 30 prescriptions for effective downsizing. HR professionals must orient and coach the CEO and ...

Solution Summary

Emboldened by the success of management gurus like General Electric Co.'s Jack Welch, chief executives have jumped on the downsizing bandwagon in droves. For every company that has rebuilt itself in GE's image, however, many more, like the one mentioned above, are floundering. Trimming a workforce is often harder than it appears, especially when management fails to envision how the company will operate after the staff shrinks. This solution discusses the role of professionals in making downsizing work for an organization.

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