The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 122,462 people were laid off in September alone. At least 50 employees were fired from each company affected, creating 49 more layoffs than the previous month. The numbers alone are stressful, which is precisely how those spared workers react to such news.
Several things happen when a company announces layoffs. For one thing, fear sets in. The workforce starts looking over its shoulder anticipating that proverbial pink slip. This uncertainty then pits employees against each other, as they try to prove their worth - most times at the expense of the other. But what about the mistrust that sets in and triggers a revolving door policy of turnover as talented workers move on to protect their future?
A 2009 study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 65 percent of spared employees worried about their own future after a layoff, which stifled innovation as they grew increasingly concerned about their own job security. Additional reactions included low morale, increased levels of tardiness and anger.
Firing employees can't always be avoided, but there are certain steps a company can take to cut costs in the short-term. The SHRM lists numerous alternatives, so the most popular strategies have been listed below followed by the link for additional ideas.
- Cut temporary staff
- Eliminate overtime.
- Cut salaries
- Eliminate bonuses
- Reduce work hours
- Offer paid or partially paid sabbaticals
- Move to smaller office space