Leadership & “Outsourcing”

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How do you make the hard decision to let positions go in order to keep the organization running? If you don’t make cuts now, everyone may lose in the end. Sacrifice a few for the greater good?

But these are people we are talking about, not just positions. Many have been working at the company for a long time and have earned their keep. If we take away positions from the team and contract the work out, the institution will save money and lose the personal touch of the full time players.

In the end, are you saving? Other area institutions have already begun the transition in their offices. It’s safe to say that the adjustment period has been painful. Change is always painful. Bridges (1992) talks about endings, the neutral zone, and new beginnings. Loss, then apathy, and finally excitement can occur- but at what cost?

I observed it with the centralization of services.They are still trying to recover from a poor reputation four years later, since the three separate offices wanted nothing to do with the ‘newbie’. In those instances, people didn’t even lose their jobs, some of them lost power. The ‘newbie’ is now in a position of neutral zone- reactive and waiting for something else to happen. There is low morale – but I get the sense that this is the same across departments where little innovation (or Bridge’s new beginnings) is not happening. The neutral zone seems like a never ending abyss.

As a leader of an outsourcing change, how do you communicate to someone who has been working at a place for 20 years that they will no longer be needed? Their security is evaporating. What was considered a stable home now becomes a broken family.

Just last night at dinner, my friend told me that her company had a ‘mild’ layoff of 100 people. “That’s the fact of life,” she said. “It’s the way you go about it that matters.” I believe that people are resilient, and most would recover but some may never.

As the leader, what would you do?

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