Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 15th 2017 Contents BG20 | COMMENTARY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN guardian.co.tt JUNE 15 • 2017
HR solutions for perilous times
Whilst the economy may
not be at its maximum
peak, human resourc-
es (HR) remain prev-
alent and relevant.
Leaders are struggling
to keep companies afloat and maintain a com-
petitive advantage daily. The corporate as well
as the public sector have been inundated with
instances that are sending decision makers
back to the drawing board to commence the
HR optimisation and HR process re-en-
gineering is the fundamental rethinking and
radical redesign of business process to bring
about dramatic improvements in performance.
Performance breeds productivity and produc-
tivity springs forth stability.
Key words in the above statement that require
your detailed attention are:
Rethinking: makes reference to creating
the paradigm shift beginning with the axio-
matic clean slate and reinventing the manner
in which you operate on a daily basis.
Radical: gets to the root of the issue and not
about improving what already exists.
Process: will apply to the group of related
tasks that together create a value for internal
Dramatic: emphasises the significantly
increased labour productivity; simplifying
the work; reduced cost; rapidly reduced cy-
cle time; greater accuracy and management
of information by reducing non-value added
activity in the organisation; creating internal
customer and end-user awareness; increased
internal customer satisfaction.
HR optimisation is a vital service quality
management philosophy. Its intent is to attain
noteworthy and sustainable improvements in
performance by re-engineering and co-de-
signing the processes through which an organ-
isation operates, maximising their value added
content and minimising everything else. This
approach can be applied at an individual pro-
cess level or to the organisation in its entirety.
A compact and malleable HR performance
suite will easily identify employee and leader-
ship gaps; enabling an opportunity to apply the
appropriate HR solution to any given situation.
The organisational development and as-
sessment centre (ODAC) at the Lok Jack GSB
is poised and well positioned for this season
of the economic instability companies may be
Adapting your HR practices in response to
the current economic pressures will help your
organisation remain cost effective, compet-
itive and enable you to exploit opportunities
presented by adjustments to labour markets.
An engaged workforce with the right skillset
is of paramount importance.
The big question
How do your employees feel as it relates to
their job security?
There is no straight answer.
Managers can sometimes tell the way their
employees feel, depending on the culture of the
organisation. In these tough economic times,
particularly if your company has recently ex-
perienced layoffs or there is a hint of staff cuts
in the atmosphere.
Even your best employees will feel insecure
and apprehensive about securing their jobs;
uncertainty about their livelihoods, including
family matters and their financial security.
Extensive research has shown that 50 per
cent of employees who believe they are on
their way out tend to give their job a rather
laissez-faire approach by withdrawing whilst
the other 50 per cent may believe it is an op-
portunity to shine with the strategical intent
to show their managers they are somewhat
Here are a few suggestions to ensure the eco-
nomic uncertainty does not knock on your door:
1. Be the doctor
not the patient
Each year, take the pulse of your organisa-
tion, regardless of the size and geographical
location of your employees. Along with asking
questions about how they feel about their jobs,
what they might do better, what you might do
better and ways to improve the organisation;
ensure to include questions that get to the heart
of how they feel about their own job stability.
Your job as the doctor if you cannot heal is to
provide the mechanisms to initiate the heal-
ing. If you are unable to perform the surgery
as the lead surgeon, be prepared to guide the
The aim is to ensure your patients live. That's
2. Development is key
Invest in your employees. Create a devel-
opment plan for each employee. This does 2
i. It assists you with the monitoring mech-
anism required to ensure your employees are
progressing in accordance with the job re-
ii. It gives the employee the opportunity to
recognise the need and process of accountabil-
ity whilst self-assessing themselves. By doing
this, you will instill a sense of security in your
employees. This is the employee engagement.
3. Focus on efficiency and
You will not be able to have a competitive
advantage in the marketplace or in your own
environment without being up to date not only
with software but approaches, tools and de-
liverables fit for internal, regional and global
entities. Making the right recruitment and
selection decisions is key.
All of that said, there are no guarantees in the
workplace, especially in tough economic times.
When layoffs are
Layoffs might occur. If that happens, bend
over backwards to help your exiting employees
find work. I know of one large company that re-
cently had to lay off 1,000-plus employees. The
company held a job fair for those employees,
involving other community businesses that
had positions to fill.
Almost all exiting employees got new jobs
that day. Now that's making the best of a bad
By doing all of this, your heart is shown.
You'll let your employees know they are be-
ing appreciated and valued. That's securing a
successful operation and is really the name of
the game. Succession planning is like water!
Your organisation cannot and will not survive
You might be down, not out!
Be proactive. Your focus should be strategic.
The key is to spend in your high impact areas
enabling you to do more with less.
Wendy H Lewis is a lecturer and senior
adviser in the organisational development &
assessment centre (ODAC) of the Arthur Lok
Jack Graduate School of Business.
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