I have been troubled by Ginger's analogy of downsizing to pruning a tree.
Most downsizing exercises I have seen or heard of have not been for the
purpose of making the organization "better" , but have been for the
purpose of reducing expenses. (If ones definition of "better" is short
term profitability, I guess they have gotten better).
One of the primary stakeholders in an organization is its employees.
Generally speaking I believe the relationship of employees to the
organization is more important to them than the relationship of the
stockholder or the external customer to the company. When management
views employees as expenses, or "fat", or unneeded branches that we can
prune away in order to improve the organization, this disregard for the
human factor will poison the decision-makers and the company as a whole.
When we prune a tree so that it will grow taller and give us more shade, I
believe we are placing ourselves on a higher plane than nature. We are
saying that God made trees to serve man. When we discharge and terminate
valued relationships with our people, we are placing the organization on a
higher plane than the people who comprise it.
Are there "right" reasons for firing someone. If an employee steals or
otherwise consciously works to harm the organization, she has chosen to be
fired. If there is no longer a need for the skills of an employee, and he
refuses retraining, then he has chosen to leave. If the employee is sick,
unhappy with her work, and infecting others, it may be best for everyone
to counsel the person out of the organization. But my experience has
shown that the great majority of layoffs and downsizings are for the sole
purpose of organizational survival and to make more money for executives
-- Regards, Roxanne Abbas Abbas Compensation Strategies Compuserve:75263,3305 Internet:"Roxanne S. Abbas"<email@example.com>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>