Have you ever been sucked into “job actions” at work? Layoffs, downsizing, consolidation, re-organizing, offshoring, outsourcing? We can be real creative how we label it, but these are “job actions”; actions on the job to reduce headcount and expenses.
Now I think it’s safe to assume (as adults) that we understand this may be needed for a company to survive. I understand this, I really do. But what I don’t understand is how difficult it is to work smarter and not harder.
Times are tough so lets work 12 hours instead of 8 because I want to stay on this job. Or lets make sure everyone is accessible 7 X 24 because if not maybe they’re not that important and the company doesn’t really need them.
Lets do whatever we can to make life @ work harder and give no thought how to work smarter. Like saying “NO” to any nice to have requests and only fund, source and deliver requests critical to the company. Maybe even consider temporary resource pooling rather than 1 for 1 offshore replacement because they’re so much cheaper. What does cheaper mean anyway? Less cost, same value? Less cost more value? Less cost less value? OR doest it really matter; it’s less cost!
Anyway when these job actions start to occur, put your seatbelts on its going to get bumpy.
During one of these events and many “consolidations” later, company X suddenly had many many offshore resources holding down the job descriptions and supposedly the responsibilities previously held by full time employess since “willed” into the cornfield. THis painful event was driven by a visionary at the company; also known as a cleaner (by the workforce). So lets add another label to define a job action; “cleaning”.
Anyway as time went on these offshore resources multiplied. Some of the seniors in this company actually said they’re getting some of the best software delivered in years and not even from full time employees but from offshore resources’! Wow; huge savings, better product delivery; what were we thinking! These challenging economic times are a blessing in disguise. The seniors of company X basically said publicly to their remaining workforce that cheaper (as in cheaper resources)seems to mean less cost more value.
Of course the lucky full time employees that remain, the ones not willed into the cornfield, well they don’t appreciate this review of A+ for offshore delivery. Their friend, co-worker and teammate had just been impacted and now they have to hear how much better the company is doing without them? I guess MORALE was never factored into this best practice pursuit of reducing costs and maybe even getting better value (?) by going off shore; to the other side of the planet to obtain resources to support our company.
I say lucky employees that remain and not the critical ones that remain because I remained during the painful job actions within my company that occurred some years ago. I was lucky because I know there were many more valuable to the company than me that are now in the cornfield. So yes the lucky ones.
And now, many years later our offshore partners are growing. As they grow in numbers and also dependency, the rates increase which means our companies are now paying more for this service that was originally pursued because of the extreme savings in labor costs. Anyway, as the rates increased, the same expense reduction eventually becomes needed once again.
This time and in true predictable corporate political correctness, the company will most likely follow best practices (see previous blog) and just hold another groundhog day. This results in more job actions, more teammates out, maybe you this time. Anyway, more expense reductions will eventually become severly needed once again. Meanwhile our offshore partner is growing stronger and stronger WHILE our company morale is getting weaker and weaker.
OK enough, you get the picture right? If you really do then I’d like to know; please email me. I’d like to know because as silly as it seems, as common sense as it appears the companies are not getting the picture. This means the leaders are not getting the picture. This also means we’re not making sure they get the picture, Therefore we’re an accomplice to this.
OK enough. What do we do now? What can I do even as 1 person to help make a difference here? And how can I do it in true C.A.R.E. fashion by having the Courage to take Action Relevant to Everyone? Right everyone, not just you. Well; lets rewind the tape, go back in time follow best practce but this time in reverse.
It’s time to hold our offshore partners accountable. Working smarter and not (necessarily) harder applies to them too! It’s time for our companies to immediatly cut 25% of their offshore resources WHILE still maintaining the number of bricks that are produced off shore. That’s right; deliver more with less but this time the accountability is on our (so called) off shore partners to acheive this and NOT on the remaining full time employees (us and our teammates). We’ve been delivering more with less since our companies eliminated many of our jobs and went off shore to fill them. We’ve all been down this road befoer and now MUST find a smarter way to”tighten up” and help our company thrive but without inpacting the remaining workforce.
THis time we MUST insist our off shore outsourcing (so-called) partners execute this plan also known as reverse cleaning, and I’m setting the bar at 25% in expense and headcount reductions. Reverse cleaning will (finally) stregthen morale within our companies. THis could be the first step in bringing back our co-workers, friends and teammates from the cornfield. Hopefully our companies can and will be able to RE-INVEST the 25% savings just achieved from the reverse cleaning event BACK into rehiring locally!
I’m CharlieSpeaking and I approve this message.
What about you? Please share your thoughts thru email AND ALSO join me on my weekly (internet) radio program; “Corporate talk with Charlie Lobosco” every Monday 8:00 PM eastern;
Call in number 347-989-1363
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Thank you, hope you participate, join the C.A.R.E. revoloution and (of course) share with others!!!!