Invariably I come across some news or other about companies laying off employees daily. The latest one being Citi’s historic layoff spree. Its not just the biggies like Citi and Sun that are laying off people, even small startups aren’t spared. Layoff is getting so commonplace and regular that people have started trackers just to keep a count of how many people are being laid off and where.The way things are going it won’t be surprising if each one of us has a person around whose been laid off or worse one of us bites the dust.
Though I am not a HR person and have not owned or managed a big firm with employees either but I still can’t accept the fact that laying people(performers or non performers) during bad times like these is the only way around. Sure showing pink slips to employees mainly from down the ladder is easy and in some weird sense shows that management is taking measures, I refuse to believe that layoff is the only option when it comes to balancing out things. I remember reading how HP avoided layoffs during the recession of the late 1970s by ordering an across-the-board 10 percent pay cut and requiring employees to take every other Friday off. People across the board taking a salary cut is just one of the possible options and am sure there will be lots of options that can either avoid layoffs or at least cut them to size. Take Toyota for example and how are they handling tough times without laying off people. It’s a brilliant strategy IMHO. Investing in people with long term goals should work well for them. Lastly as Mr Bagchi rightly suggests “Communicate transparently, involve everybody, explore other cost cuts, ask people to do alternate things, consult your customers and suppliers, and retrain people.”
What do you think?