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Old 05-10-2011, 07:54 PM
Location: Murphy, TX
633 posts, read 2,426,146 times
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My large company has been doing a few larger layoffs. They were 2-6 months a part and they let go between 100-500 people during each one. Now, I have recently heard my company has switched to doing smaller weekly layoff. I have heard for last few weeks they have laid off few people each week.

The idea is instead of layoff say 200 people every 3 month in big layoff event, they lay off 10 every week instead! I guess they are trying to get rid of people as soon as possible. Maybe it cuts down on amount of work HR has to do in one day also...

The problem is that makes people more insecure and causes more work disruption when you hear someone you know just go laid of every week!
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:00 PM
Location: Simmering in DFW
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I would think it would be easier to absorb reassignments, maybe there is a need to eventually layoff fewer employees; and the WARN ACT does not apply with under 50 layoffs.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:25 PM
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For remaining staff, it is much easier to absorb the loss of a few staff every week, than it is to shoulder the burden of 500 people at a time.

For management, smaller incremental layoffs means they can respond to the market rapidly. Waiting for months means trying to predict the way the market will change. That's a big commitment. Laying off every week means they can adjust the numbers to only as few or as many as is necessary to respond to the market.

Having been through many layoff strategies, I don't think small layoffs are any worse than massive ones.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:07 PM
245 posts, read 438,527 times
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The effect of mass versus incremental layoffs probably varies depending on the industry. From my experience, it does not scale well with creative industries.

A subsidiary at one of my previous employers used incremental layoffs, selecting and laying off people every 2-4 weeks. Morale was obviously a problem, leading to poor quality, code rewrites, and project delays which resulted in yet more layoffs. The biggest problem though, was losing the best creative and technical people. They looked elsewhere after the 2nd or 3rd wave. The company had no intention of laying them off, and offers of retention bonuses and stock options failed to keep them. Trust had been lost.

Lesson learned, when it came to corporate HQ layoffs, the CEO set a date for layoff selections and kept everyone aware. There was one massive layoff, work restructured and unwound in an orderly manner. Management secured lines of credit just in case, and promised no more layoffs for the fiscal year. Some star people still left, but the remaining staff grew into new roles and turned the company around over the next 18 months. The credit lines were never tapped.
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