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Editorials

EDITORIAL: Make layoffs humane

It would certainly serve business interest to find ways of keeping such people for effective use at a later date when the tide is up.
It would certainly serve business interest to find ways of keeping such people for effective use at a later date when the tide is up. 

Continuing corporate restructurings are no doubt a clear signal that all is not well in the Kenyan economy.

It has been three consecutive years of falling corporate profits and businesses have reacted in the very predictable fashion.

Because the top-line is not growing, the corporations have taken to ruthlessly dealing with the middle line – most notably cutting staff costs through retrenchment.

This is, to say the truth, a global practice for which Kenyan corporate leaders cannot bear the blame.

Yet what is happening on the local front has some painful aspects that need flagging even as we acknowledge the reality of it all. Corporate restructuring in many companies appears to be coming without a human face.

The cutting of staff numbers to reduce the wage bills appears to be happening without due regard to long-term interests of the businesses or even the employees.

Businesses are known to go through cycles of lows and highs, making it imperative for managers to strike the delicate balance between immediate and long- term needs.

Most critically, some of the retrenchments are targeting employees as young as 35 years, who have hardly established a footing in the jobs market.

It would certainly serve business interest to find ways of keeping such people for effective use at a later date when the tide is up.

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