Queen's University IRC

Downsizing Your Organization? Lessons from the Trenches


Carol A. Beatty
Queen’s IRC Facilitator

March 1, 2009

In this current difficult economic climate, many organizations are facing the unfortunate necessity to downsize and streamline. Astute executives and HR managers, many of whom have been through previous rounds of downsizing, realize that they must approach it carefully because both research and experience have shown that there are many negative consequences to this process. The big question for these managers is: “Can we avoid the pitfalls of downsizing and create the best possible outcome for our organization?” The answer is a qualified ‘yes.’ The emotional trauma of downsizing cannot be eliminated totally but the long-term damage to your organization can be minimized. This article will summarize the best practices of organizations and managers who have faced this daunting challenge and the lessons they have learned.

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