This week in the news, American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This is an example of monetary pressures creating a case for change, whether you like it or not. In a forced change due to a painful situation, it’s easy to lose track of the importance of your people.
For a lot of organizations, the cost of human resources is their largest expenditure. When cost cutting is imposed, the easiest way to trim costs may be to simply cut headcount. You need to be thoughtful about how to approach this.
Identify what your key business operations are — where do you need to focus any resources you have left in order to be the most successful and ensure your future. This may also be the determination for which resources stay and which resources will be cut. As we’ve talked about before, this is never easy, and as an organization you need to be mindful of how you can help the people you’re letting go get set up for a new life.
Another important aspect is planning for how you’re going to approach your future at the same time that you’re struggling to stay alive. This could actually be a great opportunity for your organization to become more innovative. You want to survive and thrive — as you restructure, get rid of the top-down, authoritarian management style and move to a more organic, egalitarian model — one that will foster and value creativity in the team that you maintain.