Managing Our Workforce:
Business as Usual Just Won't Work Any More

The Black Swan Theory reminds us that things can happen that were totally unanticipated. As we come out of the COVID pandemic, it's time to reconsider our strategies for managing the workforce, put on our "business person" hats and identify the work that must be done going forward. Where must it be done? How must it be done? Who is best suited to do it? 

Old sayings — "If you keep doing what you have done, you will get what you always got" — may no longer hold true in the turbulent environment we face today.

In the face of uncertain future revenues, publishers need to consider a wider range of strategies with regard to compensation. Instead of pay increases that inflate payroll expenses and may exacerbate profit shortfalls, publishers may want to consider using cash awards that are contingent on quarterly performance.  The affordability of a plan like this may help to retain talent and demonstrate that the organization is doing what it can. Converting employees to on-demand contractors also may lessen the need to furlough or terminate talent. Educating employees about business realities can help them understand the constraints faced by management.

HR's role is to help management understand the likely implications of alternative workforce management strategies. To do that, publishers need to consider the full range of actions that could be taken as they make important management decisions.


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