If owners are seriously considering a layoff, it means their business has actually entered a dangerous zone. A workforce is not only the expense – it is the most important asset and investment of the business. A workforce reduction is a critical decision owners can only take when the expenses are strongly out-of-line with the current needs of the business. Firing the workforce you employed is a dramatic point, and it is always important to consider all alternative decisions before taking such a step.
The first thing before the layoff, employers freeze hiring for secondary positions. All in all, there are places that do not bring an immediate revenue or drain funds of the company. They must be laid off when the times are hard, otherwise, there is no way to optimize corporate expenses. Next step is to freeze salary and benefits. If there is nothing to be cut, employers have to sacrifice some part of their workers’ salary for this purpose. Some workers will decide to leave; the others will stay and hold what remains of the business. And last, employers may encourage their workers to leave voluntarily. Buyouts and early retirements are a common practice in the companies that are not doing well. All of these steps look rather brisk and unethical to employees, but when times are tough, employers have to take controversial decisions.