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Making the tough decisions when down-sizing a department

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Downsizing a department is always hard on managers. You have to decide who to fire and who to keep. Also if you want to switch someone to another department. And then moving on when all the others are gone. And of course everything else.

When deciding who to fire and who to keep the best thing to do is take your time to make sure you're making the best decision for your company and the department. If it's an option switching someone to a different department is always a good idea because it can keep a loyal employee and one that knows the company. Sometimes people think they are good at one thing and are actually better on another project or area of the company. So it works out for everyone in the end.

Management usually gets hit the hardest. The best thing to do is to make sure you don't stress too much and just figure out what you need to do and how to do it the fastest you can. Make a list at the beginning of the day and start with the most important thing on your list and continue on throughout the day. If you don't get everything done, don't worry just add it on to your list for the next day.

Often times changes in departments will lead to leadership not doing as good of a job. Make sure that doesn't happen. When layoffs or downsizing happens the next time around, or even around bonus time you will be let go or not given that raise you've been wanting. By doing a better job than you did before and by handling the stress you will be noticed and possibly given a promotion when an opening comes.

Making sure you are doing a better job or at least the same as you were before can be really stressful. Don't worry about what people think of you, just ask them. Handing out a comment form is a good idea to find out what your employees think of you. Make it anonymous so you don't know who wrote what and can get an honest opinion from everyone. Take a look at what everyone wrote and value their opinion. Some of the comments won't be helpful but take everyone seriously and try to implement what they say. Let everyone know that they will be completely anonymous and that you want everyone to participate so that you can be a better manager and help you're your department or area the best it can be.

Budget cuts make it harder. When you have a budget cut you often have to change the way you work and cut out the unnecessary part of what you do or find ways to do it faster or more economical. Get your employees' opinion this time too. It helps everyone get along better when you ask for their help and let them know that you consider them to be valuable to the company. Because without them you wouldn't have a company.

When downsizing a department look at other departments within your company to see what they've done and how it has worked out for them. Look at other companies too. History is often a very good teacher. And it may seem a little boring or you may think that it's a waste of time but it can help you in the long run. If you think it's a good idea to do one thing and then learn it was a horrible failure with another company, it will save you and your company lots of time and money.

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Posted by DF
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