Downsizing: Doing More and More with Less and Less?
a saying going around our agency, Were doing more and more
with less and less. Pretty soon well be able to do everything with
We keep asking ourselves, How are we going to get the work done
with less staff and funding?" The work doesnt go away, just
the resources needed to do it. Sadly, staff morale seems to go down along
with downsizing. Our part of the agency suffered 30 percent cuts in the
last budget. We face up to another 20 percent reduction in this one. When
reality hits, we have to do less with less.
So, how do we manage?
learned some important rules in the process of downsizing:
staff have a vested interested in the agency and the importance of
the work being done. They want to be partners in the process, so keep
them informed and stay objective!
operations and core businesses. Focus on getting those done. Include
volunteers and staff in the process. Often, they have good ideas for
streamlining and finding efficiencies. The Washington State budget
office asked state agencies to prioritize their budgets into thirds
and get ready to throw out the bottom third.
Dont Make up the Difference with Volunteers
for agencies being downsized to ask volunteers to do regular staff
functions. Some legislators suggest we hire volunteers
to do the work of staff that has been laid off, others are worried
we will do that. Even volunteers will offer to fill the gap. We believe
that approach is an unfair labor practice. Our volunteers supplement
and enhance agency functions but never replace them.
Sense of Humor
demoralizing. A sense of humor keeps us all together in the worst
of times. During budget crisis, we change our agency acronym Department
of Natural Resources (DNR) to Do Not Resuscitate. Once, we renamed
our program AESOP (Another Endeavor to Save Our Program).
Will the last person
leaving the building please, turn out the lights?
Program of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) includes
2000 volunteers who help the agency protect and enhance our states
natural resources. Volunteers build and maintain trail and recreation sites,
monitor and conduct research on natural area preserves, act as ambassadors
in Forest Watch Patrols and a myriad of other tasks. Washington State law
provides medical industrial insurance and tort claim liability coverage
for volunteers in state agencies. For additional information about the Washington
State Department of Natural Resources check the website http://www.dnr.wa.gov.
If you have questions about DNRs volunteer program contact Susan Emley
for visiting us! We look forward to hearing from you!
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