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In the dynamic world of economics and business, it is almost impossible for organizations not to downsize or lay off their employees. However, there are times when layoffs can go wrong. One of the reasons could be due to mismanagement by the person responsible for that such as the human resource manager. The paper explores the issue of mismanaged layoffs and analyzes the problem behind the issue. The paper also reflects on the role of group collaboration process in defining the problem associated with mismanaged layoffs. Finally, it explains how a clearly defined problem assists in finding a solution.
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Summary of Mismanaged Layoffs Issue
In as much as layoffs are sometimes essential to an organization, the way human resources managers handle this process can have devastating effects. Mismanagement of employee layoffs can portray a negative image of the company to its employees, clients, stakeholders and the general public. To the employees, mismanaged layoffs of other workers, whether permanently or temporarily, can affect their morale (Bouw, 2013). The workers tend to become fearful that the firm can lay them off anytime, and this makes them lose the motivation to perform diligently at work. Consequently, the low morale translates into low productivity of the company and also into high turnover of staff. Employees will not put adequate effort into the firm knowing they can be laid off anytime and in an unpleasant way. They will also not take risks that can be productive to the organization when their future at the company is not guaranteed. Most remaining workers, after seeing that their fellow employee was laid off in an objectionable manner, will leave the organization for another company that promises them job security. Mismanaged layoffs can relay an adverse image to the clients, stakeholders and the general public if after the layoffs the company does not perform well. The assumption is that rganization lays off its employees to cut costs and succeed. However, success is not always guaranteed, and mismanagement of the layoff process will just add to the problem and make the company’s image appear negative. It is advisable that if there are other alternatives to layoffs, the company should utilize them. In case layoffs are necessary, they should be handled in the right way.
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The Underlying Problem
For the solution to mismanaged layoffs to be found, their underlying problem needs to be identified. The problem lies in the wrong attitude, lack of experience and knowledge of employee layoffs among human resource managers (Bouw, 2013). It is because these officials are prepared to deal with other types of emergencies that come their way. However, they lack adequate experience and knowledge of how to manage termination of employment. Their inexperience makes them take actions that have unwanted consequences for the company. For example, some managers are said to get so carried away by the process of laying off employees that they end up showing emotions. A human resource manager may complain of how difficult the process can be. Another may say so little that he or she may appear unsympathetic about the feelings of the former employee (Bouw, 2013). At the same time, some managers lack the experience on how to react to a disgruntled ex-employee who starts to cry or becomes violent. Failure to efficiently handle this sensitive situation can lead to a situation of danger for other members of the company posed by the disgruntled employee expressing a grievance. Other managers are also known to be disrespectful to the employees they are laying off. They treat such employees like they were never part of the company and neglect to appreciate all the times the employee spent and the effort he put into the organization. It can create resentment among the remaining workers who witness how a manager treats their fellow employee. Upon realizing the possibility that the manager would treat them tthe same in case they are laid off, the workers choose to leave the organization leading to a high employee turnover. Once the managers learn how to handle the procedure of employment termination, the problem is solved, and the process unfolds smoothly.
Group Collaboration Process
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Identification of a problem and ways of solving it are no longer the sole responsibility of the executive officers of a company. Nowadays, the employees are involved in this process too. The group collaboration process is one of the ways to define a problem and come up with a solution. It includes employees interacting personally with one another in groups concerning the issue. Once the teams are formed, the employees evaluate the mismanaged layoff situations and identify different problems causing them. Then, they enter into dialog with one another on the various issues they have identified and defined. Afterward, they build a consensus about one of the different problems causing the mismanagement. Through this process, they can identify the managers' attitudes, lack of knowledge and experience as the problem behind the mismanaged layoffs. The next step is providing feedback on their findings to the human resource managers or any other executive officer in charge of the process. Group collaboration processes are not just necessary for defining the problem. They are also essential for generating solutions to the defined troubles.
A clearly defined problem makes it easier for the manager to solve. It is because once the team has clearly defined the problem, the manager finds it simpler to identify its cause. Once it is recognized, the solution is reachable. Also, a clearly defined problem makes it easier for the manager to look for the resources needed to solve the difficulty. A defined problem makes it clear which type of resources will be useful implementing its solution. It, therefore, becomes easier for the manager to look for the appropriate means of tackling the problem.
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