Thursday, April 23, 2009

Choosing Alternatives to Layoffs

This week I was featured in a Los Angeles Times article, Choosing Alternatives to Layoffs, for helping a client navigate alternatives to layoffs. In this particular situation my client, faced with the challenge of needing to cut expenses, chose to move the workforce to a 4-day work week. Despite the reduction in pay, employees overwhelmingly supported the decision. Morale has stayed positive, productivity has increased, and loyalty to the company is stronger than ever. The 4-day work week may not be right for every organization and circumstance, but it is worth considering. Other options to consider include:
  • Temporary unpaid leave of absences - Encourage employees to take time off from work while maintaining their employment status
  • Job sharing - Decrease immediate headcount by allowing 2 people to share 1 job and retain benefits
  • Reduced hours & pay cuts in exchange for stock - Avoid layoffs and increase loyalty by trading a percentage of an employee's salary for company stock
  • Telecommuting - Reduce overhead by eliminating the need for office space
  • Layoffs with hire back bonuses - When layoffs are unavoidable, position yourself for a quick turnaround by offering hire-back bonuses to anyone willing to be rehired within an 18-24 month period
What innovative actions are you or your companies taking to avoid layoffs now and retain workers for the imminent labor shortage that is looming on the horizon?

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