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Your job's been Outsourced
If there ever was a word that had layers of hidden meaning, outsourcing is it.
In essence outsourcing means using a third party who has the specific skills to be able to focus exclusively on one area of a business.
One the one hand there can be huge benefits to outsourcing certain 'functions' or services of a business, be it customer service, payroll, administration, operations, pension plans, IT, PR, HR, design; the list goes on.
Savings can be extensive in terms of personnel, space, time, energy.
Companies that exist exclusively to service individual functions will often have very high levels of expertise and quality that make outsourcing a very attractive prospect.
In our experience, many companies that want to make major changes to their structures and even to their values, will outsource in order to create that change.
In a way they are sharing the responsibility with people outside their organisation who dont necessarily have any axes to grind.
OK, so what about, on the other hand?
Yes, the other hand is where it can get a bit complicated.
First off, whether the reason is around cost savings or restructuring it pretty much always means someone, or indeed, many someones are going to be out of a job. In other words, outsourcing usually means redundancies.
Not only that, no matter how skilled the outsourcers are, they simply wont know your company as well as the people inside it do.
They may not have many grinding axes, but they also won't have a feel for the history, the highs and lows, the way personnel are selected and what happens day to day.
They won't necessarily understand the nuances and subtleties companies may have in relation to their own clients and customers.
And in many cases, they won't have the loyalty that people working within a company can have big time, and outsourcers just cant 'hold' the ethos of a company the way its own employees can.
We're not here to make a case for or against outsourcing, but of late we have been seeing 'victims' of it and know the impact of being made redundant as a result of outsourcing can be major (yes, we know, being made redundant for any reason can be major).
Victims can include those who feel as though their jobs were 'stolen' but they also include those left behind who have to manage with fewer colleagues, low morale and lack of motivation just at the time when all that is needed most.
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