How to Conduct a Successful Reduction-in-force

By hrlineup | 15.02.2021

The process of laying off employees is challenging and difficult for many organizations. Your organization might be in a financial crisis, relocating, or merging with another organization. Whatever the reason that forces you to lay off employees, you must handle this process with a lot of care.

Planning is what qualifies as a reduction in force. With good planning, the RIF process can be a success. A reduction-in-force is the process where an organization permanently gets rid of employees because of unavoidable circumstances. An employer needs to be transparent with all stakeholders when planning this process.

Employers must be strategic in deciding who to lay off. It’s good to consider retaining a high talent. But, can you afford to pay them? In most organizations, high talented employees receive a higher payment. Below are some factors that you should consider for a successful reduction-in-force.

  1. Employee performance: Just because an employee is highly talented does not mean that their performance is perfect. You may discover that an ordinary employee is more productive and can multi-task.
  2. Productivity metrics: Employers should assess and measure the efficiency of employees. The results will give you a clear idea of who the company needs.
  3. Compensation rate: If your company is conducting a reduction-in-force due to a financial crisis, you may want to consider laying off employees receiving high compensation. The compensation can be in the form of salaries, wages, bonuses, or commission.
  4. Protected status: Some employees are protected by trade unions. These trade unions have requirements that an organization struggles to meet.
  5. Skills and competency: Employees who are highly skilled and competent are assets to an organization. Letting them go during reduction-in-force is like adding salt to injury.

A reduction-in-force procedure must comply with the law. If you plan to lay off some of your employees, you must give them notice of at least 60 days. Failure to comply with this rule will force the law to impose a fine on paying employees their benefits for 60 days.

The following are the steps for enforcing the RIF(Reduction-in-force).

  • Planning reductions in force is essential. Without a good outline, the process of RIF can go sour. Set your objectives and avoid taking advantage of this process to discriminate.
  • Do not leave your employees in the dark during the planning process. Let them know why this process has to happen and when.
  • It is now time to send the RIF letters. It will suit your interest if you hold a meeting for these employees. Be considerate to their questions and always stay calm.
  • Once you have enforced the RIF process, make sure you compensate the employees. The compensation will ease their transition process hence leave your company with a good reputation.

Organizations encounter work problems every day, which reduces their productivity. This does not mean that you should jump into preparing for a reduction in force. The process of RIF should be your last resort in solving organizational problems. Treat your employees with respect and leave a mark on society.