STAFFING MANAGEMENT 5
Rivalcompanies merge for several reasons such as to save and to takeadvantage of each other’s structures for the purpose of makingprofits. Whenever mergers occur, companies need to restructure asthey merge their operations and this can lead to replication ofduties. In some cases, new positions are created. In the case of D-Bart, the company downsized for purposes of increasing efficiency andeliminating the replication of duties. The case study involves asituation where performance appraisals are not always the best toolsfor decision- making regarding employee performance.
Thefirst strategy used during the downsizing period was a study of theperformance appraisals. According to Howell, the division manager forBartlund in San Jose, performance appraisals would be used to reviewthe performance of employees and determine those who would be laidoff. However, when she discussed this with line managers, they choseto let go of different people, who had performed well in theperformance appraisals. The manager was informed that some of theemployees who had performed well in the appraisals were not goodperformers (Trevor & Nyberg, 2008). The appraisals were thus notreflective of the true work ethics and performance standards of theemployees.
Oneof the strategies that D- Bart can use is to identify if the existingemployees envision the long and short term objectives of the company.Employees demonstrate this knowledge through their enthusiasm at workand their cooperation during work (Cascio, 2010). The employees whodemonstrate a deep understanding of the company are often those whotake their work seriously. The employees are creative and they alwaysfind solutions to problems that arise within the organization. Thecompany can thus lay off employees who do not share the vision andgoals of the organization. This includes employees who are alwayslate to work or those who never cooperate with others so as todeliver on their assigned tasks. This is because such employees donot play a role in improving the organization.
Thecompany can also use early- retirement incentives, in which workersare required to agree that they will leave at a certain future periodand the company offers attractive retirement packages. Earlyretirement incentives are often attractive to old employees, who maysee this as a choice rather than a deliberate attempt to fire them(Cascio, 2010). D- Bart can thus offer this package to employees whohold positions that are bound to become redundant. The earlyretirement package offers a chance for employees to leave if theyfeel that their services are no longer necessary while also givingthem a chance to leave to good retirement packages. It also createsopportunities for younger employees to rise to better positions.
D-Bart can also use attrition as a strategy for downsizing. In thiscase, the company would not replace employees who leave and it seemsvoluntary. It simply means that their positions have become redundantand staying at the company will not serve any purpose (Cascio, 2010).Attrition is a suitable choice in the case of D- Bart because thecompany sought to downsize and thus, the positions left vacant wouldnot need to have replacements. The strategy works well when a companyis downsizing because it automatically creates opportunities forletting go of some positions that may no longer be important to thecompany.
Finally,D- Bart can use voluntary termination to downsize. This strategyinvolves offering buy- outs and early retirement incentives. Thevoluntary termination reduces the stigma that is associated with lay-offs and thus, it can enable employees to find employment in othercompanies with less difficulty (Cascio, 2010). The voluntaryretirement gives an opportunity for employees to leave and find otheropportunities or retire early if they have such chances. Thevoluntary termination can be used in D- Bart especially in situationswhere positions are likely to become redundant. The strategy can alsowork in cases where the company seeks to close some plants that willno longer be necessary.
Performanceappraisals have been used to determine which employees ought to belaid off during down- sizing. However, they may not necessarily beeffective and can lead to wrongful termination. To ensure that theybecome effective decision- making tools, appraisals ought to capturethe values of the organization, the work ethics and standards, thestrategies of the company (Trevor & Nyberg, 2008). They ought notto just gauge the skills of employees as this can leave out otherimportant aspects of the place of work, which make a healthy workingenvironment. The purpose of performance appraisals is to determinewhether employees balance their skills with other important issues ofthe company.
Inconclusion, the most effective strategies of down- sizing includevoluntary termination, early retirement incentives, attrition anddetermining which employees envision the organization’s short termand long term goals in their activities. These ensure that theprocess of down- sizing is well thought out and executed. The use ofperformance appraisals can be an effective way as long as theappraisals consider the values of the organization, the work ethicsand standards, the long term and short term goals and the strategy ofthe company.
Cascio,W. F. (2010). “Downsizing and redundancy.” In A. Wilkinson, T.Redman, S. Snell & N. Bacon (Eds.). TheSage Handbook of Human Resource Management.pp. 334-346. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Trevor,C. O and Nyberg, A. J. (2008). “Keeping your headcount when allabout you are losing theirs: Downsizing, voluntary turnover rates,and the moderating role of HR practices.” Academyof Management Journal, 51,259-276.