Creative cost cutting could save jobs, report finds

HR
departments should look creatively at ways of temporarily cutting costs during
recession without resorting automatically to making redundancies, according to
research.

A
survey commissioned by the CIPD and Alec Reed, founder of Reed plc, shows that
employees are willing to consider working with their employers in the best
interests of their organisation when circumstances demand.

It
reveals that men are twice as likely as women to agree to take a pay cut as a
measure to allow employers to temporarily reduce costs without making
redundancies.

But
women are 50 per cent more likely than men to agree to a cut in their working
hours under the same circumstances.

One
in five men would take unpaid leave, but only one in 10 women would choose this
option.

More
than a quarter of respondents – with little difference between men and women –
would accept a grant from their employer in exchange for time off.

Reed
called on HR to look at alternatives to redundancies if there is a significant
lasting downturn, and warns employers against repeating the same mistakes of
the last recession.

"Most
HR departments are failing to think creatively and as a result come up with
short-term, short-sighted fixes which do not solve the company’s problem.

"The
vast majority of employees have good ideas about cost cutting and are prepared
to make sacrifices, but they have to feel it will be reciprocated.

"There
is great approval for a reduction in the working week, where staff can identify
some personal benefit. It is common sense that most employers overlook.

"Already
it is clear that many companies are failing to heed the lessons from the last
recession. The really sassy employers should be poised to take full advantage
of rash redundancies other companies make and recruit those talented
individuals who will offer competitive advantage when the economy picks
up."

The
report polled 870 respondents.

By
Paul Nelson

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