Skip to comments.Why layoffs are for lazy corporate overseers (sign of failure to properly manage a business)
Posted on 03/05/2013 1:52:42 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Layoffs are often a sign of failure by top executives to properly manage a business and forecast needs -- and failure of board members to ensure that the right management is in place.
Probably every worker today has experienced -- or known someone who has experienced -- at least one layoff. Layoffs are an abomination -- for the pain they cause innocent victims -- and the lack of accountability they often represent.
Before the great recession, in 2006, Lou Uchitelle sent out a warning about the terrible costs of layoffs in his book The Disposable American: Layoffs and their Consequences. The book traces the history of job security -- and layoffs -- in the U.S. and explores the psychic trauma created by corporations' overuse of this so-called right-sizing tool.
Soon after his book came out, Uchitelle explained to me that he "made a presentation at a meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association, and at the end, there was a vote taken among more than 30 psychoanalysts. They were asked, 'Do you, from your experience, consider a layoff a traumatic experience?' And all of them put their hands up."
Many workers today don't know of a world without layoffs. But they haven't always been common. I was in New York attending a disaster recovery conference in 1992 when IBM (IBM) announced its very first layoff. I remember the shock among the IBMers attending that conference. The Big Blue rug had been pulled out from under them, and they told me they would never feel the same way about IBM again.
Twenty years later, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2012 alone there were over 17,000 U.S. mass layoff events. (The Bureau defines mass layoff events as 50 employees or more laid off at a single employer.)
(Excerpt) Read more at management.fortune.cnn.com ...
ALSO NOTE THIS:
The corporate movement away from job security coincided with the advent of big executive bonuses and the rise of global competition. Consulting firms seized the moment and devised practices to teach companies how to eliminate staff.
“Those jobs are gone, boys, and they ain’t comin’ back!”
Here’s the dirty little secret.
In the Era of Baraq, there’s no jobs.
So you flush 10% of your employees and work the rest like rented mules, and most don’t have options to go elsewhere.
Job mobility is a tiny fraction of what it used to be, but you’ll never see a series about that on the MSM.
Didn’t you mean to post this at DU or maybe the HuffPo?
Just for your consideration.
You are always free to agree or disagree and refute the author.
Depends on your local labor laws. When I worked for a company based in Washington state layoffs were the best way to fire people. We had layoffs every year, always some good excuse cooked up, but when you examined the list it was really all the folks that in a normal state would have been fired months ago.
I must reiterate that this is a left wing article, written by an anti-business left wing blogger, and it’s posted on a CNN website (NOT Fortune Magazine BTW). The article assumes running a business is easy and that corporations exist to produce jobs first and foremost.
FINALLY, someone recognized that layoffs are a failure by management.
Unless you are simply going out of business or were making buggy whips and have no alternatives there are much better alternatives than layoffs. Layoffs are also a product of offshoring work. Let’s face it, you don’t need manufacturing employees when you can get Juan or Wang to do it much cheaper.
Someone is right... the management consultants started this crap and the quarter-to-quarter mentality of short sighted foolish and tool managers looking after only their own skins and pocket books is what fosters layoffs. Get mine and get out. To hell with the future of the company, the share holders or anyone else.
I won’t say never but I have not worked as an employee for going on 15 years because of layoffs and I have not missed a single day I wanted to work either in all that time. There is a price to pay and I pay it.
There was an article in the American Management Magazine back about 1998 that said layoffs will change the face of corporate America for 40 years. Out with the people who valued people and in with the people who “make the hard decisions” to let people go while they still stay and collect bonuses for “a job well done”. They are nothing but Judas Goats.
uh, um, well....I think that’s what I was doing, as well as inviting you to chime in on why you posted it (which you are free to do or not to do of course).
You shouldn’t have skipped so many of your ECON classes.....it’s showing now.
RE: its posted on a CNN website (NOT Fortune Magazine BTW)
Well, I guess CNN Money owns FORTUNE then, or they have a tie up somewhat.
The website is :
Note the word : “Fortune” embedded in the URL.
Oh come on. It is hardly “always” business owners’ faults.
Government can screw things up that they don’t see coming that wind up negatively affecting their business, which otherwise would have kept on going okay.
So when taxes get punitively higher on businesses and materials increase and deductions erased and the government becomes more anti-business across the board, it’s still the businesses’ fault they lay people off? Ridiculous. Utter bullcrap.
This is transference of anger from politicians onto business people/private sector. Those mean evil rich business owners are the reason you’re fired, they didn’t anticipate our agenda would screw them in ways they couldn’t imagine, or to the degree they got screwed.
Gimme a damn break.
I agree, this kind of anti-business anti-property anti-free enterprise garbage has no place on FR. Oh, I’m not for banning it by any means, but I am for exposing it and demeaning it and criticizing it - as you have done. The writer is a lefty, CNN is a left wing organization, and Fortune Magazine is only sometimes conservative - as shown by semi-liberal and semi-ignorant Nina Easton’s role there.
I would like to know why the OP thought it was worth posting.....
How is that?
Your agreement with this absurd article demonstrates a total lack of understanding of economics, why businesses and corporations even exist in the first place, not to mention how government rules and regulations torture private concerns.
It’s not a company’s job to to value people, it’s their job to make money. If people were willing to work for less they wouldn’t get laid off. That’s the way it goes. This notion that private industry owes people a job is absurd. Companies will go where they can maximize profit, that’s free enterprise. Eventually when other people are willing to work for less they get the work and the company moves. Let’s face it, that’s the way it should be. Otherwise people should move to a socialist country or work better, harder and more competitively and keep the job.
Oh, it’s worth posting here, you gotta confront it and refute it. I wasn’t upset at the poster posting it. All my anger is directed at the idiot who wrote the piece.
It’s necessary to post because we have to make people aware at what the latest strategy is. that is, government is floating a new trial balloon that the reason for layoffs and unemployment is BUSINESS’ fault for not anticipating the future well enough, not government policies or spending, etc.
Not that we wouldn’t expect marxists and socialists to do something like this, but when they do, it must be pointed out and refuted soundly when epxosed.
I totally agree with everything you said - but I am disturbed to see at least one, maybe two Freepers who agree with the idiot author....and how miss the point of the piece. I also would like to know the OP’s motivations.....normally a poster will defend the piece they post, or acknowledge that they posted it as example of left wing idiocy. When the OP goes silent, it makes one wonder.....
Did not even read the piece. I kinda figured the slant given the times but the premise remains... layoffs are the poor tool of poor management. I’ve seen it far too many times. Easiest tool on the shelf for panic and self-preservation by people who are managers in name only.
As stated, given the times, I expected the premise that it is business’ responsibility to employ people... it is not. It is business’ job to make money and it is management’s job to sustain the business by managing valuable resources until they are of no further value.
The problem is the incestuous relationships across different Boards.....Executive compensation is rubber stamped. Profits are privatized, while losses are socialized, and those who make bad decisions don’t suffer the consequences. For a market economy to work, good decisions must be rewarded, and bad decisions must be punished.
Your comments prove you’ve never been an entrepreneur and don’t even understand the premise. You’ve never been in management either, and like most who have not, think it’s easy. And you haven’t mentioned a single word about how government bureaucrats make running a business impossible. You really belong on DU or Huffpo......or CNN.....
....which means government must get the hell out of the way....and we’re a LOOOONG way from that status at the moment....
Ever sat on a compensation committee or read the compensation committee report in the 10Q?
You are right, they take care of each other... for the most part, a lot.
You’re wrong on all counts and I don’t have any more time for you.
I don’t lay people off I give them an opportunity to be happier and apply their talents somewhere else. Kinda like fired only realizes we both may have made a mistake. Me for hiring and the employee for failing.
Now you’re not making any sense...you “fire” people but you don’t “lay them off” - which is fine....but not necessarily any difference between the two, especially in certain states where certain businesses must use certain terms to help them navigate the law. Seriously, you are being postus schizus phrenius here....
“...that in a normal state would have been fired months ago.”
I got laid off from a large company years ago when things got slow. Two years later they asked me back. Then several times afterwards. They also did not like to purchase equipment (they rented it). With people you can lay them off, but millions of dollars worth of gear sitting on a shelf is a problem when things get slow.
I can understand their thinking, but it is short-sighted I think. I used to work for a small company before that and he never did lay anyone off - although there were some tough years for him. But he always made payroll.
“Eventually when other people are willing to work for less they get the work and the company moves.”
Depends on the workers. Workers should learn to make themselves valuable. I’ve long thought that American workers can recapture market share if they innovated and learned to create greater value for their labor. A good marketing campaign to consumers could work (like ‘look for the union label’ but, hey, the union bit the hand that fed them). But that would require some kind of investment and effort, both lacking in today’s collective.
Folks need to consider the fundamentals in our economy.
Globalization - deal with it, it’s here to stay.
Techonology - Even FoxConn workers are being replaced with robots.
Demographics- An aging population with less needs and wants.
Learned dependence or Earned success. Chose
Ah, trial balloon.
Perhaps, to further obama’s corporatism. The day after his first inauguration, he said we would have a ‘government guided invisible hand’. That’s when we went ‘slow roll’.
How can this woman be a consultant? She doesn’t even understand one of the most basic tools of management....SWOT. She evidently has forgotten that there are other players besides management and employees. That said, most American management fails to use SWOT, which shows how poor management is in this country.
I have worked for a company (in WA) that uses lay-offs to clear the chaff, but I was also laid off by them as a very new employee once upon a time (and later brought back). I have seen many people who were laid off who well deserved it and some who should have been (and innocents- like I was- like when the cuts go deep.) However, the actions of (all friends with each other) boards and quick lay-offs to increase cash flow is short-sighted.
Yeah, "FINALLY" some left-wing, business-hating writer admitted it. What an event!
The question I have is why you admire that.
Now, I suppose the argument could be made that management has made a mistake by trying to sell an unprofitable product -- resulting in the need to cut expenses. But should management compound its mistake by failing to cut expenses [labor included] to regain profitability?
And so what if they off-shore? Business ain't charity. If our government can't resist the urge to tax and regulate business out of business, then where's the moral necessity for us to labor on as patriotic slaves?
Office Space is still the most accurate documentary film ever made about what life is really like in Corporate America. :)
The irony in that is that IBM was the origin (or an adherent to) the idea that happy employees are productive - and in turn was able to be profitable for a long while. The business and the people working for them would recognize each other as equals - working towards a more profitable company. Now, you see an adversarial attitude develop along with the beginnings of a European labor system - where people have long since lost a strong work ethic or the desire to work for the long term.
How about making it work for more than just the ambiguously defined consumer? Pushing everything onto the worker while expecting (little to) nothing out of the other party will result in mismatches. When both parties work together as equals, requirements are made clearer with less mismatches.
With the transition away from manufacturing, there was a clear and long term path away that would lead to more certain prosperity. Such clarity must return if you want people to improve themselves in the way that you wish. Otherwise it will be seen as having too much cost for too little benefit (where MB is less than MC).
It is the most humane alternative to offshoring. That, and you dont have the Foxconn complaints crop up as much or as loudly.
you might want to change the word in front of “cat” on your screen name....
Pathetic responses. No arguments refuting anything said in the article, only accusations of stalinism and similar crimes against humanity. And the old cliche that the article and anyone reading it belongs at DU.
I must say that it is the first article in the business press that I’ve seen, that attempts to examine the phenomena of layoffs, which as it notes did not exist on such a mass scale 30 years ago. I’ve seen so many of them, so many done perfidiously, age discrimination, ethnic discrimination (no Hindus laid off), position discrimination (staff members laid off, no managers, managers left with no underlings), and layoff sizes small enough so that neither the SEC, nor the Wall Street has to be notified.
But anyone seeing the dark side of the issue is a Communist, right?
Heh heh. That is a great point that the writer makes. I don't care what the writer's political affiliation is - that is a great point that she makes.
The question is if you’re willing to consider government’s contribution to any harm and to have them step out of the way.