Companies That Have Never Instituted Forced Layoffs
There are not too many companies that have never conducted layoffs, but there a few interesting companies to examine. There are good and bad reasons for layoffs. A business may avoid laying people off by using them in different capacities. Then, there are other companies that lay people off to improve their bottom dollar. Here is a quick look at a few interesting layoff policies:
Good Reasons Not to Lay Off Staff
These businesses have avoided laying off their staff for good business reasons:
- Nugget Market used its grocery chain network to provide multiple options for staff, who can work across a range of functions in the company's stores. This is another form of "multitasking," with direct business applications. They even hire former staff for holiday season work so staff can take their leave.
- Devon Energy: This energy company has an astonishingly low annual staff turnover of 4%. Staff placement and salary moves are made on a realistic, consensual basis.
- Aflac: Aflac, unlike many of its competitors, is a modern insurance business. It permits telecommuting and other cost savings, and offers incentives for staff inputs called "Bright Ideas." According to the company, the staff helps save $3 million a year and there is no need to lay off experienced people, as a result.
- QuickTrip: This is a company with a good balance sheet thanks to private ownership, and wise expansion choices. The recession has bounced off this company quickly, due to good business management.
- The Container Store: Doing the exact opposite of other retailers, this business provides nearly an hour a day of training to its staff, and manages salaries on a mutual relationship basis. As a result, company retention is high and employees are qualified for many different types of positions.
- NuStar Energy: NuStar doesn't believe in layoffs, period. They consider them counterproductive, and have a highly motivated workforce which even showed up to work after a hurricane destroyed their homes and damaged the plant. They showed up to assist in rebuilding NuStar's facilities.
- Publix Supermarkets: This business has expanded during the big downturns. It is an employee-owned company and some of its 6000 staff has been with the business for 20 years or more.
The Layoff Theory
These companies have proven that layoffs are not a good idea because while nominally cutting costs, the company also loses its greatest assets. Ultimately proving that layoffs create a future increased cost for employers down the line because of re-hiring efforts.
Shedding staff means losing productive people who can help bolster the business. Also, layoffs cost a lot of money themselves. When payouts are made, severance packages can be particularly upfront expenses. Also, rehiring is expensive, and training new people up to the same level is even more expensive. The knowledge base suffers through loss of the expertise of experienced people, which that returning to higher levels of productivity and business expansion will take much longer, due to the slow training process, and the lack of the experienced people who could have helped the business expand.
In the end, layoffs devalue the image of the employer. The mere fact that businesses are laying off staff can look like they're in trouble. The reduced business structures may themselves be weak, unable to do create a competitive business.