- Mass layoffs often take people by surprise.
- But if you look out for the signs, you may see them coming.
- From perks that start disappearing to extra tissue boxes in conference rooms, we’ve rounded up 29 signs your company could be about to conduct mass layoffs.
In my career as a journalist, I’ve lived through two rounds of mass layoffs.
While I didn’t see either of them coming, hindsight is always 20/20, and I now have a much better sense for when the tides are changing. I also appreciate how much even a little bit of notice can help in the transition.
To get a better understanding of the signs that layoffs are coming, I polled others who have been through them, scoured the news about high-profile mass layoffs, and crawled the depths of the internet.
If you notice a combination of these signs in your own company, it may be time to start looking for a new job.
The most obvious sign: Executives confirm layoffs are coming
On Wednesday, Skipper sent a memo to employees informing them of ESPN’s plan to terminate the employment of “approximately 150 people.”
Executives hint at layoffs using other terms, like ‘restructuring’
HP, which has been going through layoffs since 2008, proves there are many indirect ways of saying “layoffs.”
CEO Meg Whitman and other HP executives have used terms like “downsizing,” “restructuring,” “reorganizing,” “incremental synergies,” “offshoring,” and “streamlining.”
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich used the term “headcount reductions” in an email he sent to employees about rumored layoffs.
And IBM has referred to layoffs as “workforce rebalancing.”
If you hear or see these terms bandied about, it’s time to brace yourself.
There’s talk of ‘pivoting’
In an adapt-or-die world and constantly evolving industry, pivoting is often a must. But it also means replacing one kind of work — and thereby worker — with another, which usually spells layoffs. “Pivoting” or “shifting focus” are simply other ways of saying “restructuring.”
We recently saw this at media companies Mic, Vocativ, Vice, and MTV news, which are all placing heavy bets on video content and pivoting their efforts in that direction, and which all laid off written editorial staffers as a result.
Source: Business Insider Tech