Ahh layoffs… This fact of modern employment often comes upon the unsuspecting employee with no warning at all. Or does it? There are actually several signs to look for that may point to an upcoming “Restructuring”.
1. When there is talk that the current quarter has been “Challenging” and that targets were “too aggressive”. This is code for “The quarterly earnings report is coming up and costs gotta be cut”
2. When the CEO begins using terms such as “Pivoting” or “Renewing Focus” when discussing areas of the business. This should be particularly concerning when he is talking about areas of the business that you are involved in…
3. When your human resources staff start using the terms “Stack and Rank” or “Nine Box Review” when discussing the year and review process. This is a sure sign that the staff is being evaluated in a way that facilitates later layoffs.
4. When you figure out that you are the most senior and highest paid engineer/developer in your group. Those that are paid the most are often the target of RIFs. Why pay a senior guy a lot of money when a college with a few years of experience costs half as much?
5. When you catch the facilities engineers stashing boxes in an unused store room. If a layoff is of sufficient size, companies will often bring in boxes ahead of time to be given to the terminated to pack up. Make friends with the facilities people, they will tip you off.
Here is a neat story… It has been reported that AOL, the once great ISP, laid of a few hundred employees from their failing Patch business unit by group conference call. Not one on one, but in a group setting… On a conference call… Now that’s classy.
We love the terms that are used to make firing an employee sound more… impersonal and sterile. “Reduction in force”, “Restructuring”, “RIF”, or “layoff”. In reality, its just a good, old fashioned Firing.
Have you been laid off before? Have any other signs to look out for? Give us a like and sound off in the comments below!