It’s never the staff of an organization that’s at fault, typically the leadership. I’ll give a few examples:
- Sun Tzu & Emperor Wu – For those who have read the story, the leadership of the troops to be led by Wu’s concubines is all that changed. The troops remained the same.
- Kenya Airways – Rose to be one of the most profitable companies in East Africa with basically the same employees. Leadership changed.
- Safaricom – It was initially a department in Telkom Kenya. Leadership!
- Apple – The nearly bankrupt organization never laid off all its employees, merely changed the structure.
I believe an approach which begins with getting rid of staff isn’t only myopic but also shows a fundamental inability to inspire / work with diverse people:
- Were any of the employees incompetent?
- Were any of the employees too expensive? (e.g. Were they being paid more than they were generating?)
- Was there gross misconduct on the part of the employees?
If this is not the case then firing the employee effectively makes the organization “toxic”. How?
- Talented individuals will avoid it because it’s evidently & openly a caustic environment.
- Only people who have no alternative will work there given that management has no consideration for tenure.
- Organizational culture / information/know how is lost… You can’t document relationships (relationships with suppliers, customers etc).
Such moves, in my opinion do more harm than good to organizational culture.