Redeployment, Reskilling Beat Reducing Headcount, Report Says

Layoff Box

Businesses should consider redeploying workers before they take steps toward layoffs during a crisis, said HR advisory firm McLean & Company in a new report, Redeploy Your Workforce During a Crisis. The firm believes layoffs should only be imposed as “an unavoidable, final course of action.”

McLean said this approach will better position organizations to return to normalcy once they are out of crisis mode. It will also give businesses the opportunity to keep their brand image intact. 

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Layoffs are often the first cost-reducing strategy companies pursue in times of economic crisis, said Karen Mann, McLean’s vice president of HR research, learning solutions and advisory services “However, during a crisis, many parts of an organization change frequently and rapidly, and all areas aren’t impacted in the same way,” she said. “This presents an opportunity to redeploy employees to areas of need instead of laying them off…”  

Redeployment Roadmap

McLean said corporations can use a three-step “redeployment roadmap” to redeploy their employees to other relevant business sections instead of laying them off. Steps include meeting with leadership, planning individual and departmental redeployment, and monitoring and managing departmental effectiveness.

Meeting with leadership should involve creating a policy that outlines the steps to be taken in cost-cutting, investigating all cost-cutting options and selecting the option offering the most benefit, and finally cutting cost.

In addition, when planning individual and departmental redeployment, McLean urged firms to map out critical skills they need and then check for which of their existing employees have those skills.

On top of that, “leaders must review key metrics by department, determine the impacts of redeployment and layoffs if required, and categorize departments based on performance,” McLean said. That will help them properly review and manage their departmental redeployment.

Separately, McLean predicted that an examination of HR’s role, increased attention to employee experience, provision of space for DEI, the digitization of HR practices, and a continued struggle to close skill gaps will be key trends to watch during 2023. 

Image: iStock

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