Many employers view layoffs as an unpleasant, yet inevitable consequence of a recession, and for certain industries, that may well be the case. Other companies do have options. Just ask your employees.
“Nobody is smarter and more observant at seeing the real nitty gritty of a company than its employees,” says Mary Karamanos, Senior Vice-President, human resources at the Business Development Bank of Canada. “They often have creative ideas on how to reduce costs, boost efficiencies, improve sales and marketing, and identify new markets for your products and services.”
There are two key advantages to this approach: In difficult times, people want more than ever to contribute. Also, employees are more willing to embrace change if they are consulted beforehand. Throw the challenge out to your employees. Some may be interested in shorter work-weeks for a few months, or a partial paid leave to travel, volunteer, go back to school or care for an ailing parent. But unilaterally deciding that all employees will begin taking every second Friday off unpaid, for example, or cutting benefit plans, will do nothing to boost staff confidence and loyalty in your firm.