An article in The Straits Times on 16 March 2016, “Higher-skilled workers make up the bulk of layoffs” caught my attention. According to a data source from the Ministry Of Manpower, “higher-skilled workers and middle-aged workers were the hardest hit by layoffs last year, making up more of the pool of resident workers made redundant than workers of other occupational, educational and age groups.”
The current market sentiment reflects how economic activities have slowed down across a myriad of industries.It is not uncommon to see organisations resorting to job cutting to reduce operational costs when faced with economic slow down to protect its bottom-line.However, this knee-jerk response often leads to another set of organisation challenges that include leaving gaps in their corporate competency with the departure of the higher-skilled workers. Understandably, organisations need to close such competency gaps to survive, let alone thrive. Failure to close these competency gaps would inevitably lead to organisation ineffectiveness and “tragedy”.
To close such competency gaps, organisations could hire less experienced employees or have the remaining workforce in the organisation to rise up to the challenge and take up new roles and responsibilities. However, the current state of the economy could hinder even the hiring of lesser experienced employees due to cost pressure, among other reasons faced by organisations. That leaves organisations with the other option of looking to the existing workforce — but not without first providing the necessary training to develop them.
Several methods to raise the competency of existing employees include coaching, mentoring, on-the-job training, special assignment and training the workforce through skill-equipping workshops.Notably, skills-equipping workshops are one of the most cost effective methods to get an organisation’s workforce up to speed, followed by a series of post-workshop interventions to ensure that skills learnt from the workshop are applied back to the workplace. The good news is that the overall cost of skill-equipping workshops is only a fraction of the cost saved from job cuts in skilled positions. Hence, most organisations are inclined towards skill-equipping workshops as a means to develop their people towards achieving organisational goals.
PACE OD Consulting, with its vision to advance organisations, offers innovative OD interventions in the areas of leadership development, values-driven culture, people development, performance excellence and strategic thinking, among other customised interventions to help organisations thrive and perform above challenging environments. Led by Dr. Peter Cheng, Dr. Lily Cheng and a qualified team of passionate OD professionals, our extensive OD works have benefitted many MNCs across Asia and Europe.
If your organisation has exercised job cuts in the recent times, we would be glad to meet up with you for a non-obligatory consultation to assess organisation competency gaps and if needed, customise skills-equipping interventions to ensure the closure of competency gaps to keep your organisation thriving in this challenging economy.