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Six Steps Leaf Used To Close Two Plants Successfully

April 1, 1993
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Related Topics: Downsizing, Featured Article
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Here are the six steps:

  1. Announce the closing early.
    Making an early announcement is the first step to closing a plant successfully. To employees who are losing their jobs, the reason for the closing isn't important; finding a new job is. Announcing the closing early helps them and you prepare for the future. It also improves employee morale and productivity because employees appreciate being included in the process. This is especially true for unskilled laborers, who will have a more difficult time finding new employment.

  2. Communicate with employees.
    Foster an ongoing communication that stresses a quick reaction to employee concerns and questions throughout the process. Remember that people are losing their jobs. Employees consider their concerns and questions to be important. By communicating on a regular basis, you instill greater trust and help maintain morale. Employees will know that you're doing everything possible to help them through a difficult time.

  3. Emphasize teamwork.
    Closing a manufacturing facility requires teamwork between the corporate office, plant management and outside consultants. The closing affects many areas of the company. Good teamwork also fosters clear, ongoing communication with all areas.

  4. Train and provide on-site services.
    Training and outplacement are the most effective ways to help your employees find new jobs. By conducting these activities on-site, you can ensure a higher degree of participation and success.

  5. Hire an outplacement consultant.
    Even if your budget is low, and you can't employ an outplacement firm for the entire closing period, at least consult with one during your initial planning stages. Outplacement firms can be invaluable by pointing out the dos and don'ts of the actual closing process. They also can provide valuable information about public and private training and educational programs.

  6. Keep accurate employee records.
    Accurate records are the only way to ensure that departing employees will receive their compensation and benefits.

Personnel Journal, April 1993, Vol. 72, No. 4, p. 70.

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