The U.S. economy was already on the brink last month when the Wall Street-fueled financial crisis came and pushed it over the edge. Organizations nationwide are being forced to slash costs, which often means cutting payrolls.
Too often, however, employers make tactical errors during layoffs. Here are six key steps to help keep layoffs as legally painless as possible:
1. Consider alternatives. Because of their devastating impact on morale, layoffs shouldn’t be Plan A. Work with execs to draw up other alternatives that reach the same goal. Example: cutting hours (not jobs), freezing salaries, restricting overtime, exploring job sharing, or asking for volunteers to go part-time or take a furlough (see box for more options).
2. Communicate early and often. If you provide regular updates on the performance of the department and the company, employees may be upset by a layoff, but probably not surprised.
Once you make the dec...(register to read more)