When Should We Tell The Staff?  

16 April 2008:

Having decided on an outsourcing initiative, a question that quickly follows is ‘When is the best time to tell staff that we are going to outsource?’

A natural, or the traditional school of immediate thought, is that you only tell the staff when you have to, as it will disrupt the motivation, commitment and staff morale. Many employers fear the consequences of telling the staff. Yet all know that at some stage in the very near future they will have to communicate this often hard and difficult message.

For many, the heart of the problem rests with the ethics of an outsourcing initiative being in contention with those initiatives, vision statements and strategies which promise to place ‘our people’ at the heart of the organization. If the transfer of staff has significant numbers, then it is further complicated by what the popular Press will make of any announcement, which usually results in the typical ‘hard luck stories’ filling our Sunday morning papers. Yet these same publications will not be slow to lambaste those executives and originations which fail to take the necessary steps and decisions that give an adequate financial return for investors. It would almost seem that no matter what you decide to do, it will be wrong and wrong again if you did nothing!

So is there a recommended time when you tell the staff? The answer is a little more complex and has a few dependencies. For example:

  • The type of business or process being outsourced
  • Where the area or operation is currently based
  • What the competition is doing

Read more

Source: Alsbridge

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