22nd May 2009
In a time of ongoing layoffs and insensitive reality-TV proposals for programs where employees get to decide which colleagues are made redundant, it was heartening for me to see in two prominent American publications that many companies see the hidden expenses in layoffs. MSNBC.com reported: “Many companies concluded that layoffs could be costlier down the road. Employers who have laid people off have to find, hire and train new ones when the economy recovers. Workers with specialized skills or strong customer contacts aren’t easily replaced. … There are also other costs that are harder to put a price tag on, including the loss of talent and leadership. Layoffs can drag down the morale of those who managed to survive the job cuts but fear they could be next.” Fortune magazine summarized the costs of layoffs in this way: • Brand Equity costs: How badly will the layoff damage your company’s brand as an employer – and its ability to attract the best talent? • Leadership costs: Layoffs greatly increase the chance that you’re firing a future company leader • Morale costs: Even the survivors pay a price. Workers who remain file dramatically more medical claims. • Wall Street costs: Layoffs for cost cutting sends Wall street a signal of a sign of trouble. • Rehiring costs: When the economy goes up, you’ll face the costs and delays of training new employees The latest news reports have a more hopeful tone for market recovery, but jobs reports are a lagging indicator. Instead of continuing down a path of redundancies, uncover cost savings, boost morale and productivity and gain competitive advantage by implementing strategic recognition. What are your strategies for avoiding layoffs to retain your competitive advantage in the marketplace?