Downsizing During the Holidays: A Sign of Bad Planning?
In the last two weeks, my Twitter feed has been filled with announcements from colleagues about being released, or having failed to be on the spot, while dozens of others found themselves unemployed. Yes, it's the season of vacation layoffs again!
Each year, thousands of Americans are fired, fired or simply fired in December, while businesses are putting their homes in order by the end of the fiscal year. Ironically, all this business makes December one of the best times of the year to look for a new job – even if companies let go of the bottom performers, they are also looking for new talent to fulfill crucial roles. This, in addition to packing all our projects and getting our documents for the next season of taxes and visas, makes the holiday season very busy for human resources and recruiters. This is also a source of fear for many employees.
The impact of holiday shootings
Losing one's job is always stressful. In fact, it's one of the most stressful things we can face, both for the blow to our ego and because of the way it's so disruptive to our lives. Of course, we lose income, but we also lose routine, friendships, and sometimes even the feeling of ourselves. Being fired during the holiday season, when we are already stressed by family dramas, the end of the year, or simply feeling lonely, it is even worse. People facing joblessness during December tend not to look on the bright side, assuming that they will look for another newly available gig. Instead, they will worry about being able to pay their bills.
And the stress of vacation layoffs is not limited to those who are laid off. When a work force has been decimated, those left behind often experience some form of guilt on the part of the survivor: relief mixed with pity and self-recrimination. It could have been me! Maybe it should have been. All of this is worse when layoffs occur during the holidays. Separations should always be handled with care, especially mass layoffs, as we know that they can decrease productivity, morale, and, well, make everyone feel bad. However, dissensions during the holidays are difficult to obtain in a positive light. Unless these layoffs are absolutely necessary, they seem cruel and cold, and this can have a lasting impact on your business culture and your employer brand.
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So, why do so many companies lay off during the holidays?
The end of the year scramble
There is a good reason to dismiss people during the holidays, and that is a necessity. Either you simply can not do payroll or it's the only time you can fire these people and make sure their severance pay is safe, but sometimes leave is the right thing to do for your organization and for those you give up. But much more often, vacation vacations are caused by the rush towards the end of the year, or a total disregard of how they will impact your organization.
Of course, you want to make sure you're ready for the new year and that you have all your documents well before the tax season, visas and checks. Nobody wants to enter the new year with a workforce that you can not afford to pay, or with troubled staff that you wanted to burn down. But in most cases, vacation layoffs can be avoided through careful planning and the attention of your workforce.
In the case of a long-standing underperforming, waiting until the end of the year to process them is unjustifiable. Every day, you waited to discipline, coach and, if necessary, let go of those employees, the negative impact they had on the business and their team got worse. Do not procrastinate thinking that it will be easier to justify a break as part of the holidays.
If you justify December's mass layoffs with a simple question of business need, you may not have considered the massive and enduring emotional impact that your actions may have on your hand. Work and your ability to recruit the best talent. to come up. Your workforce is made up of people and not interchangeable robots.
Apart from the simple necessity, vacation vacations are a bad strategy and represent, in my opinion, poor planning of the workforce. If you anticipate significant layoffs this month, ask yourself if it is really worth it.