Company layoffs are nothing new. In fact, they are very common in all industries, but even so, many employees find themselves taken aback when caught up in sweeping rounds of layoffs.
This surprise happens because many employees don’t bother to learn more about their own companies— you know the place where you spend the majority of your time and energy? Without knowing the background behind their companies, employees become powerless and confused in the face of layoffs. So:
Start putting yourself first!
Stop being a lazy and uninformed employee!
Stop believing you must be loyal to your employer when the company is going through a rough patch!
Stop missing the signs and pay attention!
Here are some major telltale signs your company is foundering, which means layoffs are imminent.
Company Finances: It doesn’t matter if your department is human resources or marketing. As an employee, you should have access to your company’s financial history and health. You should be reading quarterly earnings statements (some companies even hold town hall meetings with employees to discuss such documents) or reading 4K reports (as an MBA grad, I actually enjoy reading these). If the company has been setting lofty goals BUT not reaching them consistently, then there are major underlying reasons why and you must be prepared.
Customer Support: Does your company make a product that no longer appeals to your customer base? I used to work for a company where this was happening big time. It impacted the business and will continue to do so for years to come. Read external consumer reports to be aware of how your customers perceive your company.
Senior Leadership Starts Talking About Corporate Restructuring: Senior leaders are a trip, in my opinion, because they love using fancy words to say the simplest of things. As leaders, they are almost never direct and transparent about their actions and it’s frustrating to say the least. Leadership won’t directly say it, but if you start hearing words like “restructuring” its means that jobs are being eliminated, people are losing their jobs. Is it a good thing? Yes, for the company, but not the employees.
Senior Leadership Starts Jumping Ship: I once worked for a company that suffered from many issues related to sales, product quality, and employee retention. But, I knew it was really bad when senior leaders started quitting in droves. Why? The answer is simple: When in crisis, senior leadership is almost always first informed that the has hit an iceberg and now it’s time to evacuate to the safety boats.
Departments Start to Shrink: This is perhaps the easier and fastest way for an employee to see the bleak writing on the walls. Your department started with ten people and over the course of the year, it’s reduced to five employees who are clinging on for dear life.
Company Mergers and Acquisitions: Most commonly referred to M&A, and when this happens, companies start looking at redundancies to cut, such as duplicate roles or unnecessary departments in efforts to trim the excesses.
Other External Factors: Things like global trade and the overall economy can also impact the financial health and stability of your company. Read and follow the news, especially business and economics trends, to remain aware of what might happen.
So, how should you protect yourself? Well, you can start by subscribing to my blog or following my posts on LinkedIn to learn more! Second, always have a sense of awareness and proactive approach when it comes to your career.
You are the driver when it comes to your career. Don’t let anyone drive for you!