I know many people who are incredibly talented, well respected and have unequaled levels of experience in their fields. Some of them have been let go in the past few months and each of those announcements were baffling to me.
While we all appreciate the need to watch the bottom line and protect profits, there seems to be too much emphasis being placed on financial spreadsheets. While the numbers don't lie, they will never tell the whole story. I predict these firings will come back to haunt those businesses. It will be too late when they realize that the factors impacting performance listed below are not line items on their spreadsheets.
Experience should be more highly valued. An employee who has earned a high salary because of their contributions, productivity and willingness to adapt and grow should be revered. These folks are hard to find and more difficult to replace.
The plan of gaining energy with a younger staff soon plays out to be a myth. Energy will never trump experience in leading and driving performance.
These employees were excellent mentors not because they knew their stuff, rather because they truly enjoyed helping others excel. Who will fill that role?
The learning environment they created and how they helped others recognize their potential sparked positive morale. Who will step in to make sure the team remains motivated with great attitudes?
Their wisdom, support and leading by example increased productivity. After casting them aside, your expense line might look better, but the team learns that experience isn't truly valued in your culture. They begin to feel expendable. Who will those teams want to follow into battle now?
In the case of one of the individuals, two weeks after their departure several staff members were still crying and voicing disapproval. What is the cost of that lost productivity? Will staff morale ever fully recover? If not, what will that cost?
Before allowing valuable experience to walk out your door, please consider the potential losses that your accountant can't pinpoint in numbers. These voids create more financial woes over time than can be calculated.
Short-term expense reductions often become long-term income reductions. Your staff is watching and coming to their own conclusions.