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redeployment of employees

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General redeployment of employees

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  • #29715

    sam campbell
    Member

    We anticipate as an outcome of to a current DMAIC six sigma project that my company will eliminate a wasteful part of our process. As a result 12 employees will be eligible for redeployment, all will be guaranteed continuity of employment. None of the employees has been informed of the situation nor have any of them been involved in the project as the scope of the project involves reengineering a process at he front end. Has anybody any advice on how best to communicate this situation.

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    #76647

    Mike Seile
    Participant

    Redeployment of employees as a result of process improvement and reduced need within a particular cell is best defined as Attrition.  Upfront in Six Sigma projects, gaining trust with the employees that the gains made in the project may reduce the need for manpower is best said as………….
     Our company internal head count turnover rate is 5% annually and our improvement efforts will not result in a discharge of an employee, however be transferred to areas of the business that need people to fill the companies expansion(s) or natural attrition rate of 5%. 
    In laymens terms…”We don’t fire people as a result of continuous improvement efforts, and we never will….the company turnover rate will absorb the change.”
     
     
     

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    #76687

    Maia Eppes
    Participant

    I was looking through this website and found a response to you by one of my counterparts.  I thought I would add my experience as I recently had to redeploy three people.  I find that the best way to handle this situation (if they are going to be placed ina similar area and at the same pay) is to approach it as an opportunity to learn new skills, become more valuable to the corporation due to th eincrease of these new skills, and have the opportunity to do something new.  As Mike Seile stated, trust is upmost.  Since I had the trust that I was looking out for them, they knew I was more concerned with their well being.  You need to focus on the positive effects of them having to be placed elsewhere and the positive effects to the company.  By no means should this be seen in a negative manner. 

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    #76688

    Mike Seile
    Participant

    Couldn’t agree more
     

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    #76691

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Sam,
    In a lot of instances it isn’t as big as a negative as you might think. There are always a few who are looking for other opportunities (as long as they are within the company). If you are looking for a smooth way to call everyone together to tell them you are moving them tomorrow you are in trouble. If there is time then I would have a mixture of team members and management meet with the department and explain why it is happening and what the opportunities are.
    You will frequently be surprized at the response. We had a factory in the early 90’s that got hit with an industry slowdown every spring. We agonized with who would get laid off until we started paying attention to the people complaining. They were complaining because they wanted the time off – no the reaction we expected. It was a rural area and it typically coincided with planting. worked well for everyone.
    Your is a little different but don’t sell the people short.
    Good luck.

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    #76696

    Brett Brown
    Participant

    Sam
    I suggest the staff are informed only when it becomes definate that this will be the outcome, probably the improvement stage. Do not allow people to worry unneccessarily.
    It is important that you paint a positive picture to the employees. They also must understand that it is not a personal attack on their skills, behaviours or attitude towards the company. On the contrary it is to their credit that the company has decided to retain these people.
    If you are to use the knowledge or services of these staff prior to the knowledge of redeployment ensure these people do not feel used otherwise they will take “baggage” to their next role.
    Also I have found that referring to the functions as becoming redundant rather than a person or title, removes the personal negativity of rejection.
    Hope this helps
    Brett  

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    #76699

    Martin Ulrich
    Participant

    This could not have come out at a better time. I am currently running a Kaizen program in the first of 10 departments. Improvements have been viewed by all in the plant as positive and everyone is asking for their department to be next. However, people on the line have heard, or generated a rumor that this program will ultimately reduce manpower. This is a very limited view right now, and it concerns me that if and when the reduction occurs, it will validate this rumor. Taking the wind out of this sail would be deadly for this program and could hamper any other further attempts for improvements in the future. It is a close-nit non union factory with a long memory.

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    #76707

    Ursula Irribarren
    Member

    This is part of the process, sometimes we need that to make imporvements.
    People have to know that they are valuable for us, but sometimes we can keep them, because of the business needs.
    You need to let them know that if they are been redeployment , is because they are good, they had made a good job, otherwise they can be fire.
    I am having also a similar situation right now, I hope employees could understand.
    Good luck Sam.

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    #76708

    Sambuddha
    Member

    Sam,
    Difficult problem at hand.Eliminating positions is a business decision that is bound to affect people’s lives. As long as you are sensitive about both aspects, and communicate that to your people with the right perspective, it will reduce the resentment. A compassionate approach could make all the difference.
    At our place (unionized workforce) we had an understanding that if a unit employee participates in a Kaizen/improvement team that leads to gains(productivity or otherwise) and leads to elimination of jobs, it will be jobs that will be eliminated, not people. Those folks without jobs will qualify to fill in positions that are constantly vacated due to attrition, growth, level changes etc.
    I also came across an interesting article about how Agilent CEO handled lay-offs, in the Fortune magazine, titled — The Best in the Worst of Times. It might be a tad different issue, nevertheless an interesting read.
    Last but not the least, as Jack Welch put it —
    Any organization that thinks it can guarantee job security is going down a dead end. Only satisfied customers can give people job security. Not companies.
    Maybe, employment security is something that is worth looking into instead of job security, in this ever changing world.
    Best,
    Sambuddha
     

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    #76710

    Sambuddha
    Member

    Forgot to include the link:
    http://www.fortune.com/indexw.jhtml?channel=artcol.jhtml&doc_id=206028
    Happy reading.
    Best,
    Sam

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    #76713

    billybob
    Participant

    Redeployment of employees…. Motorola was 6S founder, this is how they redeploy employees; http://www.msnbc.com/news/773042.asp
    Later,
    Billybob
     

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    #76716

    Andrew M. Brody
    Participant

    Whether the 12 employees were involved in the reengineering process or not, they should have been informed of the process from the start with the reassurance that their employment would not be in jeopardy and that they would be redeployed.  This would have allayed any fears that may be developing from rumors that inevitably arise when a reengineering process is underway.  If you are not finished with the process yet, this may still be a good time to meet with these employees to explain what you are doing and the effect it will have on them.
    You may also wish to offer them the opportunity to counsel with Human Resources and give them the chance to express their feelings about how they would like to be redeployed even if it may not be possible to do as they wish.
    Andy Brody
     

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    #76717

    dan tegel
    Participant

    I’ve been through this with several companies, now. The employment continuity policy is critical.  We typically don’t start without that kind of commitment from management.  HOWEVER, people will still feel disenfranchised by having to find new jobs and learning new skills.  It’s most difficult if this is the first project in company.  After several several projects have been done, it gets easier, because people expect it. If not handled properly, other groups will be less hesitant about fully committing to reengineering, process improvement activities.
    What to communicate:
    1) They are valued employees and you want to keep them.  Process change and job change is a way of life. Since they weren’t involved, they will be shocked and angry.  (Although I would be suprised if the rumor mill hasn’t provided a heads up).
    2) There should be a management policy and procedure developed for managing redployment, so people can see that it is thought through and being managed with executive level commitment. The policy should be something to the effect that we will help you find a job equal to or better than what you have. (They shouldn’t have to take a backward move in pay, or position). I do think it is OK to extend this policy to helping employees finding something outside the company as an alternative.  In that case, they should remain on the payroll until they feel satisfied that they have found a better position outside. A textile company I worked with, had this as an ongoing career development policy. If you wanted to change jobs internally or externally, or if there was job displacement due to process improvements, employees were supported in finding a similar or better position. I think it is the support that makes all the difference.
    3) An HR person should be involved in reviewing were other staff needs are. In one company, a large aerospace firm, this was not so too difficult, because there were lots of other “understaffed” departments that could use the employees. In one university, people who took different jobs, were supported with retraining. 
    4) I have also seen companies handle redeployment poorly.  The good news is even, when handled poorly, people adapt, eventually.  But you get mass paranoia about who’s next.  Unfortunately, you can lose good people out of fear.  And you may lose some good people anyway.
    Good Luck
    Dan Tegel, Ph.D.
    [email protected]

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    #76721

    David J. Monis
    Participant

    Not informing the 12 people in the beginning of the project was wrong but that is history. Do the right thing and inform the people ASAP so they can have some control over their career.  The short the notice the people will be in forced redeployment without any alternative and the result will be poor moral in the new position.

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    #76723

    Michael Whaley
    Participant

    I concur with Mr. Monis.  I’ve been redeployed once, and laid off once as a result of organizational improvements.  Be honest about the changes and their impact.  If you have not been honest in the past, apologize and tell the truth.  If  you do, you’ll at least gain some level of empathy from your employees.  The changes will come to light, and if you’ve kept secrets about the company’s plans your employees will distrust you and any future plans you present.

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