A short background to put my topic in perspective will be to elaborate on the particular firms I am referring to although my thinking applies to all firms but I concede that not all firms can afford to apply these principles.
On that note, I am referring to very large or somewhat large corporation that invest so much in talent acquisition and development-fortune 500 companies.
Secondly my heading should in no means suggest in anyway contracts of employees should not be terminated when there are gross breaches of company policies and other laws laid down by the firm.
Therefore, what I am suggesting is for companies or firms to resist from the relatively easy way of letting go of employees just on the basis of business decisions but rather take steps to realign the talents of these employees to fit the existing or future directions of the firm.
With this background, I will proceed to argue why. During the height of the pandemic, there were several job losses. In the US alone it was estimated that there were 22 million job losses by December 2020 within. This fact can also be projected to give the picture of other countries.
However, these job losses did not necessarily come about due to companies nose diving in profits and needing to shut down and neither was it somewhat another global crunch like that seen in 2008/9 which was pure economic.
The problems faced by companies last year (2020) was due to a specific cause i.e., the pandemic and it was mainly due to the fact that people were heavily restricted in movement. This problem did not mean people and Businesses (B2B businesses) ceased to have the need for goods and services that were already being provided before the pandemic. They had need for them, they were only restricted in accessing those needs.
This means, hypothetically, without the external factor of the pandemic every business will not have reason to fold and lay off employees like we saw in 2020 and some part of 2021.
Having established the above fact. You may realise that businesses which folded up should ‘easily’ be able to reorganise, strategize and forge forward. In some cases, they should be able to do even better than before the pandemic. This will be possible only for business that are agile and are/were able to put in place the right strategies in adapting and meeting the new needs the pandemic presented.
The reorganisation and strategizing should also include realigning of staff to play critical roles in the realization of the new strategies. I concede that many roles will become redundant but also for-see that with the right steps put in place those who occupied the redundant roles can be realigned to fit in newly created roles. This is a more difficult approach but in the long term has the best results as I will show in the coming paragraph.
For large cooperation and especially those that invest heavily in talent development this should be the focus taking into consideration the cost involved in seeking and hiring the right talents or hire new people and then have them learn the tenets of the company all over.
The approach I am discussing is not only for situations such as that which the pandemic presented us. But all other business decisions that will suggest losing staff should be avoided or relegated to the bottom of the options. When there is the slightest opportunity to realign it should be taken because the affected employees are well situated to forge ahead the new strategy.
For example, very large corporation which are always seeking talents must buy the idea of realigning talents. A quick monitoring of their career sites suggests at every giving time there are about 2000 new talents being looked out for globally.
Such a firm, although may be justified in letting go of employees in some cases should consider realigning instead. This is because rather than go through the rigorous process of rehiring new people and going through the pains of making them fit into the company culture your existing staff who are trustworthy and have undergone several internal trainings and development can be easily cross trained to fit in new roles that the employer needs.
ABOUT THE AUTHER
Raphael Apeyusi is a trained mechanical engineer with vast experience in passenger lift, automobile, power generation-renewables and thermal energy sectors. He is a professional project manager with the U.S.A project management institute and completed an MBA with the University of South Wales, UK. His interest is in business analysis, engineering management and people management, and when he is not practicing engineering, he spends time reading, reflecting and writing.
Email: [email protected]