Recruitment/Retrenchment & The Shampoo Bottle Syndrome
Today, as I was looking at the entire pack of Shampoo Bottles I have- the list was humongous
– Himalaya Anti-Dandruff, Boericke & Tafel Arnica, Heads & Shoulders, Jaboran Shampoo,
Patanjali Kesh Kanti, Kaya Earth, Mamaearth…….It’s a long list.
These were times when the going was good – recruitment was in full swing☺. Money wasn’t
a constraint. And I didn’t bat an eyelid before I ordered a shampoo at offering the slightest
hope of arresting my hair fall/dandruff.
Now the Covid19 spoilt the party, I am reviewing each bottle and finding that there are many
which are just redundant. They were just impulse purchases, even costly ones, and hardly
(And I am sure, if you analyse at your home – the story would be similar)
Made me reflect on the event and draw analogies.
Over the past 2 years, a lot of organisations, funded start-ups in particular, were in a
recruitment frenzy. Multiple people were hired for solving a similar problem with role
overlaps. Cost wasn’t an issue. VCs and PEs were writing blank cheques and who cared
about costs. So a lot of Impulse Purchases were made in the People domain
Now suddenly that the tap ran out of water, one is analysing the Organisational Structure and
questioning about what is the role of X, Y and Z – how much do they contribute to the
organisation, do they justify their salaries etc. New purchases of Shampoo Bottles
(Employees) is frozen and the mandate is to use the existing ones properly or discard them.
In my case, the redundant shampoo bottles represent a sunk cost and thus, even if worthless, I
might still keep them to adorn the shelves to flaunt ☺
But in case of employees, the ones found redundant, unless fired, will have to be paid
salaries. And hence organisations are handing them the pink slips – mercilessly or otherwise.
In Big 4, they are put on a Performance Improvement Plan ☺
Think about it – in your organisation, are these Employees who are like a Stack of unused