The easiest thing for companies to do in hard times is to eliminate jobs. You read about this constantly as a reaction to lowered earnings, reduced margins, and dimmed prospects overall. I saw this cycle frequently toward the end of my local television career: positions held open for a couple extra months, hiring freeze across all positions, buyouts of tenured people, then elimination of positions.
The cuts seem necessary and beneficial at the time, but it’s a long, slow death. The expense cuts tend to mask deeper problems with value proposition, business model, or strategy. People will ultimately be necessary to bring life back to the operation, to create and deliver its value.
Downsizing (or, the sadly hilarious “rightsizing”) seems to be a quick fix that immediately cuts expenses. The problem: the benefits provided are short-term only. Continue reading