Through careful and thoughtful analysis of the skills that are required to carry out your business functions, and the ancillary or unused skills present in your workforce, you can begin to build engagement while operating more efficiently.
During staffing reductions, either by layoffs or attrition, there is often a work gap left behind by the departed employees. That is, when a company lays off one person, it is common that some portion of the work that person performed must still be completed. Customarily, this work is picked up by the remaining employees (see scenario below), adding a sense of increased burden to the insecurity they are already feeling.
Consider this theoretical scenario, and please share your thoughts on how common, or uncommon, this practice is within your company.
10 people can do 100% of the work for a department.
Staff is reduced by 20%, while production is rolled back by only 10%.
- On average, each person is responsible for 10% of the work.
80% of the original staff must now complete 90% of the original work.
Normally, there is no bump in pay provided to the remaining workforce.
- Each person is now responsible for 11.25% of the work- a 12.5% increase.
There is an alternative to this process, however, which can have a splendidly opposite- increasing our employee engagement and sense of security. It's what we call the Auxiliary Workforce Plan (AWP).
Essentially, the AWP provides the roadmap to identify, develop, and utilize untapped skills and talents present within our current workforce. Through this mechanism, we can provide interdepartmental and cross-functional opportunities to our employees, which lead to stronger engagement, and better overall understanding of our business. For the employees, it manifests as professional development, resume building, and increased variety in their day-to-day job activities. This is truly a win/win practice that will provide the greatest benefits when the economy is at its worst.
To be Contnued...