Alternatives to Layoffs — Part II

Strategy #2:  Involve Employees in Cost Reduction
Many good ideas can come from employees because they see waste and inefficiency up close.  Companies such as Allied Chemical, Coca~Cola, General Electric, and General Foods have saved millions of dollars in energy, time and material costs by tapping employee input.
Ideas to Consider

  1. Have each department sit down with employees regularly to identify cost saving opportunities.
  2. Consider using a facilitator as many times employees don’t want to offend managers or supervisors.  For example, in one company I know, employees were uncomfortable speaking up about a time wasting project management process because the CEO created the process and was notoriously defensive about it.
  3. Choose to act on the opportunities that have the best combination of high payoff and low effort needed to implement.

What to focus on

  • Energy saving ideas
  • Operational inefficiencies
  • Duplication and overlap of effort
  • Scrap
  • Internal reports
  • Unnecessary meetings
  • Opportunities to share best practices
  • Options to eliminate positions when people leave or retire
  • Ways to reconfigure jobs to improve outcomes
  • Benchmarking to identify opportunities through better practices.

Next:  Strategy #3 — Reducing HR Costs
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