originally published February 7, 2011-
In June 2009, the Wall Street Journal published an article, “Put Down the Ax: 5 Alternatives to Layoffs” by Sarah Morgan. It’s a good article that points out laying off employees is not the most cost-effective solution to financial difficulties. The short term gain actually represents a financial loss if the jobs will be restored in the next year or so when the costs of severance, unemployment, litigation, rehiring, and productivity losses are taken into consideration.
One of the solutions provided is “Ask employees for help.” This is a process we have advocated at CALMC. The combined experience and knowledge of everyone in the workforce can produce creative, cost-effective solutions to workplace issues. We have seem many groups show that by working together, employers and employees can make a difference for themselves and their organizations.
Often, the difference they have made has been amazing. Workplace quality has improved through applying the knowledge of employees to improve the work system. Costs have been cut and efficiency improved. Communications have been enhanced and problems resolved through the joint efforts of everyone in the workplace. Accidents have been slashed and savings realized by involving employee teams in the safety process. All of these have help the company improve the bottom line while enabling employees to preserve their jobs.
It is nice to see the Wall Street Journal agree with us about the benefits of employee involvement. They got it right, and it’s time for your organization to take advantage of this resource, too.