The Layoff Letdown

This week i read a case study on the difficulties of layoffs in the workplace.  From personal experience I can honestly say that this is not an easy decision to make or to hear.  Fortunately, I have not been on the receiving end of the dreaded “pink slip”, but I have been witness to it.  There is so easy way to make that kind of drastic decision.  It takes time and opinions from those who are working in the trenches and who know the numbers to make that kind of decision.

In this case, Robin Astrigo was not going to be the only one with suggestions about what to do with their recent earnings decrease.  He employed the help of those in upper management with not only the knowledge of the company but their own personal opinions and experiences to guide them.  The many suggestions given to Astrigo reflected these differences.  In regards to the first option, first in first out, I do not think that in the long run this will be beneficial and cost-effective for the company.  Paying severance package would be just as costly as keeping them on board as employees.  That is not to say that a ranking system, which was the counter suggestion, is any better.  Forcing people into forced rankings can be extremely dangerous for a company.  It can lead to heavy competition, resentment, and biased figures when it comes to expected rates of failures. 

Then there is the option of seniority.  Those who have been with the company the shortest  amount of time will be the first to go.  This, as stated in the article, can result in the loss of essential employees that have the potential to be great management.  This leads to the idea of then keep up the morale of the company.  With a company that is primarily focused on the customer service it provides, losing morale can be extremely dangerous.  When employees are constantly worrying that they may be next how can they focus on better serving the customer. 

In general, Astrigo is faced with a very difficult decision.  However, he is employing some very good leadership skills.  he is asking the opinions of those around him.  He is bringing in people who are not of upper management because they offer good suggestions and what them to have a learning experience.  He is also taking personal responsibility for what is currently happening to the company. No matter the decision that is made, the fact is that one had to be made and not all people are going to be happy with the results.


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