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By Executive Edge

Rule 1: Communicate

Explain the reasons for the cuts, what the new thrust of the company will be, how certain jobs will change, etc.

Rule 2: Encourage 2-Way Communication

Let employees vent their fears and ask questions. Don't mistake questions about the future as disloyalty or as an indication that the survivors are planning to jump ship.

Rule 3: Reengineer

Redefine, consolidate and streamline tasks as soon as possible. Productivity is related to the clarity with which employees understand their roles and responsibilities. People need to know how their performances will be measured and how work will be redistributed.

Rule 4: Set New Goals

Each department should set new goals and redefine priorities according to the company's new mission.

Rule 5: Build Commitment to Change by Involving Employees

Many employees have intelligent, well-considered ideas about their work and their companies. Include them in solving problems and redesigning work.

Rule 6: Innovate

Yesterday's solutions will not solve today's problems. Look at your business from a new perspective. Set big, ambitious goals and encourage all remaining employees to help you accomplish them. For example, reduce the cost of manufacturing the lead product by 50%
without laying anyone else off. Be number one or two in the business or product line. Develop a breakthrough product or service that puts the company ahead of the competition by 10 years.

Rule 7: Be Open-Minded

Executive Edge Managers need to listen, not just talk. Employees have intelligent, well-considered ideas about their work and company. Involving people in solving problems will help rebuild their commitment to the company. Facilitate discussions. Encourage functional and cross-functional
conversations. Implement new ideas.

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