UCL School of Management

3 June 2020

Jim Berry on why cutting staff in an economic crisis is not a long-term fix

Image from IT Pro's website showing a graphic of a varying line graph

Photo: ITPro - What should tech CEOs do in an economic crisis?

In this time of uncertainty and with the negative economic impact the pandemic has caused, budget freezes and job cuts seem like the sensible option to save money for many businesses.

However, Jim Berry, Director of the UCL MBA, says this can have a detrimental impact on a company’s long-term survival and their ability to adapt to the changing business landscape.

In a recent article for ITPro, Jim explains why although reducing your task force might seem like an easy win, it is not necessarily the best long-term solution. He believes it reduces flexibility and impacts the ability to respond to growth opportunities in whatever the new normal turns out to be.

Instead of removing staff, Jim says companies should consider “keeping employees engaged with building new capabilities and addressing the issues or dream enhancements you never had time for in the past”.

For example, you might choose to redeploy staff to speeding up the completion of projects that have the highest potential to be paid.

In order to survive the economic effects of the pandemic, he suggests leaders consider looking at the totality of their work and taking some positive, forward-looking strategic decisions, rather than trying to do everything in a “business as usual” way.

Read the full article 

Last updated Friday, 14 August 2020