Managed Attrition: A Dilemma

This morning on CBC Ottawa radio it was reported that more people want to leave their government jobs than are being asked to. And, in many cases there is no overlap between those who want to leave and those that have been given notice to leave.

This causes an interesting dilemma facing an organization whose goal is to reduce headcount and budgets by up to 25% in some departments.

  1. Do you follow the plan let go those whose jobs are redundant, being eliminated or who are mediocre to poor performers but who want to keep their jobs? If they have the right attitude can they be reassigned to fill the empty position? Or
  2. Do you let go those who want to leave, regardless whether they are top performers in jobs that are critical to your new organization? After all, if they don’t want their current job will be they be effective long term employees?

The unions are screaming that the government has abandoned workers, is breaking promises and leaving people jobless. But, I’m wondering if through strategic managed attrition departments can silence those claims by just letting go those that are volunteering. It’s hard to argue with an employer if they are simply setting free those workers who want to leave any way.

What’s your thought?