Article from Straits Times, 18 November 2008
Straits Times On-Line Forum- November 18 2008
Hard times and layoffs 2: What CEOs should do
GIVEN the challenging times we face, CEOs undoubtedly have to pull every trick they have out of the hat to manage their businesses and stay afloat. Rather than be tempted to take the path favoured by some CEOs, that is, cutting costs by staff retrenchment, consider alternatives that may work for your business:
- Ensure you communicate to your employees the challenges your company faces. Do this regularly, so employees can manage their expectations. During such trying times, employees worry about the stability of their jobs, which can lead to dampened spirits and adversely impact productivity.
- Provide an avenue for employees to discuss their concerns. Two ways you can do this - internally, for example, human resources, and externally, for example, employee assistance programmes and professional career counsellors.
- Make available change management programmes to further assist employees to recognise that change will be a regular feature in their career.
- In the event that headcount shed is unavoidable, for example. mandate from corporate headquarters, provide professional outplacement support to facilitate smoother career transitions and nurse bruised egos.
Amid all the challenges, there could be pockets of opportunities for all of us. For the CEO, there is an obvious one - to further strengthen your ability to manage well during adversities. This is one development area you should focus on. If you do well, it will do wonders for your career.
Founder, NeXT Career
Consulting Group, Asia