IT Employment

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voluntary versus involuntary layoffs

By cweinsch ·
Hello. My name is Carl Weinschenk. I am writing a story for Tech Republic based on an interview I did with an ex-CIO of a very large company. She said that the company once had a major across-the-board layoff, and she was the only manager who opted for mandatory (versus voluntary) layoffs.

She said she is against voluntary layoffs for two reasons:

--The people who you need to finish existing jobs may leave.

--In general, the best folks leave since they are aware that they have strong skills and feel more confident that they will find new jobs with relative ease.

I am interested in reaction to this position for possible inclusion in the story.

Thanks, Carl

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She's a jerk - to use the lesser of all the terms I could of called her.

by JimHM In reply to voluntary versus involunt ...

To put it in the less offencive term I can thing to call this WomAN - "is a jerk." She doesn't appear to care about the employee or what they need during this time, no! She only cares about the job. Her concern is "The Best will go first" or "The ones you need to finish the Job will go first." -

If she really felt that way, why didn't she offer these fine hard working staff members, a bonus for staying and finishing their jobs. How about a guarrntee of say 2 years severance pay to hang in till the very end. Sweeten the pot for those folks to voluntarly stay. Does she understand these people will still depart, even if it were not voluntary, if she treated them bad enough, or they realize she was just using them ... they would fly just to spit her.

No; She sounds like one of the heartless sob's that just want to milk the good cows until they are near death, then sell them off to the highest bidder. She doesn't appear to care anything about their welfare or career - only hers and her pocket book.

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by john_wills In reply to She's a jerk - to use the ...

Perhaps she couldn't offer the best workers bonuses for the same reason that she had to lay people off at all.

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Thats BS

by JimHM In reply to bonuses

That's BS - if they can offer a severance package - when they kick you out. They can offer you a better when if you stay to the end..

I bet she got a big package when the time came to cut her position. I bet the Gold Parachute opened and the dollars fell from the sky.

Don't BS me that they can't do something - Management can do whatever it wants to do, whenever it wants to do it - don't be fooled to believing otherwise...

I've lived through 3 of them - and selected "Butt Kissers" got some nice little perks when heading out the door... others got just a boot -

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Involuntary Layoffs Target Best Workers

by worker bee In reply to voluntary versus involunt ...

When the time for involuntary layoffs comes it is the "troublemakers" who are shown the door. Often these troublemakers are the best workers because the more a person cares about doing the job and doing it right the more they are likely to be unpopular with managers.

After all it is these people who are constantly prodding the manager to make decisions, to take action, to make things better, to get more resources. It is these people who are likely to speak up and tell the manager that there is no way to turn that old 486 into an enterprise e-commerce server or some other equally absurd idea.

When layoff time comes the people who stay are the ones who "bothered" the manager the least. Skills rarely have anything to do with it. This is why so many good people are out of work and so many incompetent people are dug in like ticks in so many corporations.

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Worker Bee - 100% on Target

by JimHM In reply to Involuntary Layoffs Targe ...

You are 100% On Target ... Those that have been seen as "Boat Rockers" - "**** Stirers" - "Trouble Makers" = "Those that Challegen Managements Decissions" - are the first to go ... Been there ... and am that... It's just to much fun not doing it...

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Featured note

by Prefbid II In reply to voluntary versus involunt ...

I caught this much older thread because it was "featured". I find it interesting and decided to post -- mostly because I completely disagree with the early posters.

A company needs to work out their layoff plan based on the kind of company they are. It is foolish to assume that "one size fits all" when it comes to shifting resources. When IBM broke a 30+ year tradition of "no layoffs" they first offered voluntary layoffs. I'm sure a lot of people of high quality left, but it was and still is a huge company. In some sense they had to thin the ranks. Keeping morale as high as possible during the new era was important to them. Voluntary cuts made the most sense. However, not enough people left so they had to start pushing some people out the door. At that point they had no real option but to go for involuntary layoffs.

I would expect that there is always a percentage that was thinking of jumping ship or retiring early that would love the opportunity -- just don't ever expect it to be a large number.

So, while a voluntary program is probably a good start, it is not likely to attract enough people. If you start with one and have to expand it to involuntary, you gain some respect of the employees during a difficult time. It's never a good situation, but the volunteer program helps soften the ****.

A forced layoff from the get-go is likely to spell trouble. If a company just surprises everyone on a Friday and let's the "bottom 20%" go, the following week the "top 20%" will be looking for a new job. You are very likely to lose them -- because you jarred their comfort level in the company. If you offer a voluntary layoff, you will lose some of the talent, but not everyone will be as anxious about their status and the status of the company.

Besides -- what kind of company are you running that you can cut 20% of your workforce and you don't hit anyone of significance?

Bottom line is, don't mess with the psyche of the employees.

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