Article (September-2018)


Painless surgery!

Anil Kaushik

Designation : -   CMD

Organization : -  Focus TPA


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Recent past has witnessed huge numbers of layoffs in Indian organisations specifically on IT, telecom and other sectors. When we talk of lay off, it is not in strict legal terms because in legal sense as enumerated in employment regulations, it does not mean termination of jobs as we refer here in common understanding. Reorganisation, restructuring, downsizing, right sizing, by whatever name we call this exercise, it leads to termination of employment of people with the belief that it will cut costs, increase revenues and improve efficiency. Some surveys have indicated that layoffs may continue till 2022.
When economy grows, why Layoffs are there -is a question-employee who suffers the burn of job loss asks quietly. Why the company managers were lying or unrealistically upbeat some time before this incident of lay off? Why an employee who scored highest in appraisal and got promotion few days before was asked to leave? Not answering and handling these issues intelligently with sensitivity brings bad name and ill will to the organisation. The maximum layoffs happened in the IT sector is due to the reason that this sector is shifting from the concept of high volume to high value. It is moving towards non- linearity delinking the revenue growth with headcount. AI, machine learning and other new age technologies have drastically changed the skill set requirements. In some cases Layoffs may also be there due to inability of the team to generate required profits on projects. Digitilisation and automation have actually brought about disruption in traditional roles which compelled the industry to re assess their employees' capabilities to remain relevant in business.
Whatever may the background and reasons of the organisations to resort to layoffs, the main issue is of successful execution. For any organisation, letting people go is an unfortunate and unpleasant event full of high negative emotions. Since this exercise involves human element, CEO, HR and all functional managers need to demonstrate high level of sensitivity and positivity in handling employees. It has two dimensions. One is - to communicate and make psychologically acceptable with least pain that he has to go; another is - to maintain the morale of remaining employees who are not axed. Their doubts and fears about the future must be addressed honestly. Managers handling layoffs should have high quality of communication skills with empathy and compassion otherwise whole exercise may back fire. Legal compliances are also to be ensured. Managers should provide all possible physical and psychological support with dignity to help them rehabilitate as early as possible because in long time it is not remembered why the person was laid off but he will remember how he was treated. You cannot make a pig beautiful by putting lipstick.
This time, Sept. 2018 is all about this painful phenomenon which is reality of the present time in changing business world. Experts offer their advice on how to avoid and choose it as last resort, how to handle and how to regain the confidence of remaining talent and much more...
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