Even though we believe that layoffs should be used as a last resort, and have the published research to support it, there do come times when it’s necessary to lay off employees. That’s why it was good to see Simon Constable in the Wall Street Journal recently recommend several ways in which to do it properly that fit with our findings and recommendations we made a decade ago in the MIT Sloan Management Review. This includes our counterintuitive but important recommendation not to fire people on a Friday:
Don’t fire people on a Friday.
Don’t fire people late in the day.
Don’t make any layoff announcement until everyone affected has been informed.
Do offer to provide a good reference.
Fire people before Thanksgiving or after New Years, but not between.
Don’t piece-meal your chopping.
Don’t fire anyone by email.
We have an article in this spring’s issue of MIT Sloan Management Review that reflects upon and updates our article we published a decade ago: “How do Downsize Your Company without Downsizing Morale.” For additional ideas and case studies on how to downsize or lay off people properly, be sure to read our book, Trust is Everything.
If you’d like a copy of our previous MIT Sloan Management Review article, Preserving Employee Morale During Downsizing, please contact us.
Below is a listing of downsizings that I have been keeping track of over the past several months, using data published by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. The list does not include the 2,000 job cuts that GM announced today as well. It is by no means an exhaustive list, but it gives an idea of the horrific toll that downsizing is having in the U.S. and abroad:
|Bank of America(Merrill Lynch)||35,000||11%||12/11/08|
|DHL (U.S. staff)||9,500||73%||11/10/08|
|Sony (electronics division)||8,000||5%||12/9/08|
|NG Groep NV||7,000||N/A||1/27/09|
|J.P. Morgan Chase (Washington Mutual)||4,000||21%||12/1/08|