Compulsory redundancy is the most widespread method of reducing workforce size used by UK companies, according to research.
Findings from the latest Cranet Survey on International Strategic HR Management, conducted by Cranfield School of Management, show that compulsory redundancies have moved from being a measure used by just over a third of organisations in 1995, to one used by 89% of organisations in 2003.
The chart shows that all methods asked about in the survey have been on a marked upward trend since the mid-1990s. Incidences of voluntary redundancy, internal transfer and recruitment freezes have also moved sharply up.
An additional factor regularly referred to in workforce downsizing is outsourcing. The second chart shows this has had a wide impact on reducing workforce levels.
More than two-thirds (71%) of respondent organisations have used outsourcing. A third of those organisations reported that the resultant workforce reduction was between 0% and 5%, a further 11% reported that as much as between 6% and 20% of the workforce had been lost by this means, with just 1% saying they experienced a reduction of between 21% and 50%.