In another round of job losses, Target has today called in staff at their Geelong headquarters and announced that almost a quarter of them no longer have a job, as the company restructures in an effort to boost performance.
So far this year, we’ve already seen Australian businesses and Governments announce substantial job losses:
- Ford – will cease manufacturing in Australia from 2016, with 510 jobs to go in Geelong and 650 in Broadmeadows
- Western Australian Newspapers – cutting up to 100 jobs, starting with voluntary redundancies and then potentially forced redundancies
- Crown Casino – reducing head count by up to 50 in administration, marketing and back office
- Pressure Dynamics – placed in administration on 7th June, with 40 jobs lost and another 50 at risk if a buyer can’t be found for the business
- ANZ Bank – reducing call centre numbers by 70 in Melbourne, and moving them to New Zealand
- GlaxoSmithKline – eliminating 120 jobs as a result of the closure of their Boronia tablet packaging section
- Swan Services – almost 2500 jobs lost as one of the country’s largest cleaning companies collapsed
- Sensis (Telstra) – slashing nearly 700 jobs, with more than half of those being sent overseas to the Philippines or India
- Origin Energy – eliminating 850 jobs
- Iluka – cutting numbers by 200
- Jupiters & Treasury Casinos – almost 50 workers sacked
- IBM Australia – embarking on a redundancy program which could see up to 200 workers lose their jobs
- Holden – laying off 500 workers, including 400 production workers in South Australia and 100 vehicle development employees in Victoria, after already laying off 170 late last year
- BlueScope Steel – eliminated 170 jobs from its Western Port Steel Mill in Hastings
- QBE – looking to cut 700 jobs globally, although the number from Australia is not yet clear. Fairfax reports that QBE plans to set up a hub in Philippines
- Victorian State Government – 3,500 jobs to go over two years, including 450 positions at the Dept. of Justice, 450 at VicRoads, 450 at Victoria Police, 400 from the Dept. of Education, 400 from the Dept. of Sustainability and Environment, and 500 from the Dept. of Human Services.
- SA State Government – as many as 450 public service jobs to be eliminated as part of a 1% ‘efficiency dividend’
And yet, amidst the media headlines, there are also stories of success and strong growth. One only has to look at the BRW Fast 100 to see that strong performance is possible in any economic circumstances. The challenge as a business owner is knowing how to achieve it.
Across the board, the most significant losses have come from organisations which are conventional, lack agility, have little competitive advantage, and (in most cases) service only an Australian marketplace, and/or failed to manage their growth effectively.
In a competitive and dynamic global marketplace, the greatest opportunities for success exist for companies which are truly innovative, take measured risks, and can maintain a unique commercial proposition against global competitors.