RIGHTSIZING AS A TECHNIQUE FOR ACHIEVING EFFICIENCY IN THE NIGERIAN PUBLIC SECTOR
1.1 Background of the Study
Rightsizing is the Human Resource Management function of manpower planning and staffing. Institutions are established to accomplish specific goals. To achieve these goals, the human resource is one of the crucial factors, without which the goals are unattainable. The human resource is the engine room of ideas and production. It is the human resource that organizes, plans, controls and directs other resources. For example, while other factors of production like technology, financial and material resources may be in abundant supply, they have to be coordinated by a human being, who because he has a will, personal desires and preferences, can direct them to accomplish desired objectives. Thus, the need to maintain the right quality and quantity of staff with the right knowledge, techniques and skills, as well as the right frame of mind and attitude to contribute optimally to organizational goals and objectives. (African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development Workshop, October 2000). According to Olowo and Ademolekun (2005), it is becoming more essential to secure and manage competent human resource as the most valuable resource of any organization because of the need for effective and efficient service delivery.
In the past few decades, all over the world, organizations and environment have undergone rapid and tremendous changes largely due to globalization. Globalization has resulted in the huge advances in the area of technology. This has completely reshaped the landscape of formal organizations all over the world, the less sighted organizations operating in the same environment lost their fortunes and in some cases, were faced with virtual extinction as a result of the inability to anticipate and adapt their operations to changes brought about by the latent forces of globalization in the society (Onyeonoru, 2005). Change is a process that requires action and which ever way workers react to it, has implicit or explicit implications for realization or non realization of organizational goals and objectives. Nigerian work organizations are not insulated from changes emanating from globalization forces. And since globalization presently appears irreversible, every organization in both public and private sectors must prepare its workforce adequately to cope with the frequent changes associated with globalization.
Consequently, the Federal Government has since 2004, commence various reform programmes aimed at making its institutions work more efficiently and effectively. One of such programmes adopted in its on-going reform, is rightsizing. The underlying philosophy is transformation. The overall vision is a Nigerian public sector that works efficiently and effectively for the people. Rightsizing may be defined as the process through which organizations determine and maintain a level of employment “right” for its requirements or the continuous and pro-active assessment of mission-critical work and its staffing requirements. It is an on-going planning process to determine the optimal number of employees in every area of the organization. Therefore, for an organization to realize its goals and objectives, appropriate rightsizing techniques such as, the maintenance of accurate personnel records and regular personnel audit, human resource planning, employee training and development, employee retention strategies and employee regular evaluation are sine-qua-non for enhancing efficiency.