Various economic factors have forced firms to downsize their workforce.Explain the ways in which a manager may best manage a downsized workforce


1. Motivation – A leaner workforce implies greater responsibilities. A manager needs to therefore motivate employees to work harder and better. He should look into all the factors that motivate especially better remuneration and employee benefits and provide these to the employees.
2. Revise Job Descriptions through job analysis. Duties and roles change with downsizing. A manager needs to do further job analysis to encompass all the additional areas so as to come up with job descriptions that are realistic for the staff available.
3. The manager needs to ensure that the remaining workforce is not overworked and this remains effective. One way this can be done is by outsourcing some functions that have been traditionally done by full time employees in Human Resources, Compensation and executive recruiting can be outsourced.
4. Improved technology is a major tool for managing a downsized workforce. e.g. the use of automated systems, the Internet or the World Wide Web. Reorganization must be done to change the way employees work with new technology.
5. Managers need to reassure employees and make the certainty of their certainty continued employment a guarantee. Downsizing is a ‘corporate anorexia’ that makes a company thinner but not necessarily healthier. It leads to a lot of uncertainties surrounding the remaining jobs, alongside this is mistrust for management.
6. Counselling services need to be provided to the remaining workforce. Most are usually greatly affected by the loss of their colleagues and friends. They fret over the fate of the laid off persons and some even get psychological turmoil caused by doing the work that another colleague used to do.
7. A manager must offer further training opportunities to employees so that they become competent in all the areas of increased responsibility.
8. Improved communication too will go a long way in solving problems that may arise in the leaner workforce.

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