Written by Noemi Pollack on December 22, 2008.
Just as the doom and gloom of escalating layoffs continue to send shivering ripples of fear throughout the work force, along comes happy news, yes, just in time for the holiday season. In reading the NY Times’ front page this morning, in which it wrote, “some companies are nipping at labor costs with measures less drastic than wholesale layoffs,” I found renewed hope in Corporate America. Apparently certain companies are looking at alternatives to massive layoffs and doing something about it.
For instance, according to the article, Brandeis University proposed that the school’s 300 professors and instructors give up 1 percent of their salary, while Dell extended unpaid holidays, Motorola cut salaries, Honda offered voluntary unpaid vacation time and Nevada Casinos offered a four-day workweek.
Just consider, that instead of adding thousands of people to the unemployment lines, which in turn would cut badly into consumer spending, not to mention the emotional toll of “pink slips”, these companies have asked all of their employees to join together in making it possible to ward off layoffs. How admirable is that?
But I believe that it is not just altruistic on the part of these companies. It is simply smart. They know the value of keeping a productive and loyal labor force and it will be companies such as these that will be in the front lines when the economy roars back.
According to the NY Times, there are also many midsize and small companies trying tactics that nip and tuck, but don’t immediately slash the work force. Corporate America can take note and follow the lead of these exemplary companies. If enough companies move in that direction, Corporate America will be doing its part in helping the economy sputter back.