This refers to Shubhomoy Sikdar’s report “Separation without tears” (September 19). As the frequency and the number of employees affected by layoffs increase, it is a good sign that Indian companies are adopting a structured and humane approach to the issue. Three concerns are critical. First, layoffs, particularly when a large number of employees are involved, should not come as a surprise. A company-wide awareness programme is the first step in which the company must explain why the move had become necessary and also what the company did do to try and prevent layoffs.
Second, there should be a well-thought out criteria to decide who will have to leave. These should be easy to understand and seen as fair and just by the workforce. One such criterion has been mentioned in the report. Third, the company that just laid off people should have a proper strategy to deal with the low morale of surviving employees. This may be the case if the people laid off are seen as victims of management whims. Effective use of outplacement services and if required retraining of the concerned employees for jobs available in the external labour market would also help to restore morale.
Y G Chouksey, Pune
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