Thursday, December 18, 2008

Alternatives to layoffs

Tidings of comfort and joy: here’s an intriguing seasonal message. In these tough economic times, a U.S.-based business advisory group is suggesting that business owners look at alternatives to layoffs in order to cut their labour costs.

The Alternative Board, an organization that facilitates monthly peer advisory boards for entrepreneurs, says its member companies have found creative alternatives to letting employees go.

· Reduce the work week from five days to four.

· Increase employees' time off. Instead of two to three weeks vacation, offer people five weeks, with two of those weeks unpaid. (Alternative Board president Jason Zickerman says many younger workers like this tactic: they never expected to get so much time off again.)

· Offer staff sabbaticals, with reductions in pay. Their time off could involve seeking out training or other experiences that will eventually benefit the company.

· Loan out employees to other businesses that may need extra hands temporarily for project work or as seasonal help.

"If these ideas are presented and communicated properly, you are absolutely able to develop increased loyalty," says Zickerman. "[Employees] will see that you are fighting for them and to stay in business so when things turn around, they will still have a job."

Read the full story here.

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