Layoffs are challenging for both the company and the employees involved. Companies should do everything they can to minimize the effects of layoffs if not avoid them altogether. Layoffs should only be a last result if there is no other possible solution in sight. When layoffs are the only answer, the company should handle them with the utmost respect and consideration for their employees. GE Transportation
In the article, “Layoff Plan Moves Forward at GE Transportation” (Martin, 2013) GE, only handled the impending layoffs partially well. GE provided their employees with extended healthcare benefits for 12 months after their separation, extension of income for every year worked, and job placement. By providing these benefits, GE was considerate of their employees. Most companies do not offer the courtesy of a severance package. Where GE could have handled their layoffs better was being transparent with their employees. The article did not clearly state if employees were aware of upcoming layoffs other than the week notice they were provided. If the company was having a problem with slowdown in orders and production, they should have made their employees aware that the company was having difficulties.
If GE had been more open with communications and also discussed plans on how to surpass the downturn, employees possibly would not have been as surprised about the layoffs. GE should have considered other solutions before deciding on layoffs. One solution they could have looked into was looking into lowering their operating expenses. Saving money on their operating costs could have helped save some jobs. They could have also positioned cutting certain benefits or even temporary salary reductions for employees. If GE had contract workers, another solution could have been to start the downsizing there. Lastly, GE could have incentivized employees near retirement with more attractive early retirement packages. By implementing these alternatives, GE may not have had to resort to layoffs.
When a company decides to downsize, it is a painful process for both employees and the company. If a company decides there are no other alternatives, layoffs should be handled respectfully for the employees affected. Transparency, consideration, and support all make the transition of becoming a displaced employee a little smoother.
Martin, J. (2013, Nov 03). Layoff plan moves forward at GE transportation. McClatchy – Tribune Business News Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1448076588?accountid=458