The other day, we had our communication session, and I was having a small discussion with one of our teammates, and how some of the management decisions seemed inconsistent with the drive to reduce cost, especially during these hard times. And that is exactly what this article is discussing: retrenching 'experienced' workers, then hiring new blood… may not be warm blood after all, and even then, may not be warm enough to bring about the heat to induce the much-needed energy to propel changes – for the better.


IT MAY be a time-tested policy, but the "blood transfusion" approach — retrenching workers during a downturn and hiring new ones when the good times return — may not be in the company's best interests these days.

Instead, companies should look at ways to manage costs and retain existing manpower, said labour chief Lim Swee Say.

"The blood transfusion method means that at the company level, you're going to lose a lot of experience, a lot of skill and time... it takes time to hire and retrain new workers. And if you're in a knowledge-based economy, the time needed to retrain new entrants will be much longer compared to a labour-intensive operation. It's better to upgrade and restructure with your existing workforce," said Mr Lim.

Companies restructuring operations should focus on reskilling, upskilling and multi-skilling existing workers while keeping their wage costs down, he added. This would lead to a win-win situation for workers, companies and Singapore's economy.

    The seminar also saw human resource experts offering some tips on how to manage employees during a downturn. CHANNEL



From TODAY, News – Thursday, 07-May-2009

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