American automaker Ford announced on Monday (20 May) a move to reduce the headcount of its global salaried workforce. In a statement to Human Resources, a spokesperson said this is part of a "smart redesign" exercise, and the number of affected staff by country or region is not provided, as the work is still ongoing".
Explaining the rationale behind the redesign, the spokesperson said: "The focus of the smart redesign has been to reduce bureaucracy, empower leaders at all levels, focus on the most value-added projects and eliminate non-value added work, and ensure we have the right cost structure around the world."
When asked about how the affected employees will be compensated, the spokesperson said separation packages comprising benefits such as lump sum payments are provided. Ford also provides separated employees with access to a re-employment services vendor to help them find employment.
Sharing about the HR team's involvement, the spokesperson said: "Our HR team is playing a crucial role in this process. We employed a tested process that starts with our leaders and then cascades through the organisation.
"This allowed leaders at various levels of the company to shape their organisations by focusing on the most critical work, shifting how work is done to increase velocity and leveraging the broad base of experienced talent across the organisation."
Ford has also provided its managers with tool kits that would help them identify and respond to potentially difficult conversations with employees.