With the current economic slowdown, the ICT department is not immune to directives to trim down staff. What’s a CIO to do? “Stack rack your people and scrape from the bottom,” advises Erik Berggren, director of customer results and global research for SuccessFactors, a provider of on-demand performance and talent management software. “It sounds hard, but if you have to get rid of 20 people then it’s better to cut the lowest performers,”
“If you make the call that you need to trim your own organisation, trim where you don’t need the skills in the future and you can be more agile.”
Berggren outlines more general strategies that include establishing clear goals, having a five-year plan for ICT talent management and making targeted staff cuts.
“You can always make a choice of what you want to do, so be transparent and pay for performance. You should definitely have a five-year plan because of the variables. Everyone is recalibrating their growth strategy because the assumptions you rely on are void in the current economic conditions.”
The worst way of doing staff cuts is on a voluntary basis, he says. “The most experienced people are going to take that [redundancy] package, go on holiday on your dime and go to your rival.”
Berggren says it is best to have a strategy for good return on investment on staff. “It’s not only on the upswing you have to think about this, it’s also when you are doing a pay freeze.”
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