Anyone who works for a major company will tell that it has its own unique flavor. Some companies require their employees to dress up like Star Trekkie wanna bes at their annual meetings. Some require their employees to do team cheers every morning. It's all part of that companies corporate culture. It usually comes in the form of a memo from the CEO or a new program from the human resources department. These ideas are usually intended to make everyone feel part of the team and develop a strong sense of unity...essentially, to make things a little more "personal." Ironically, the memo which comes down telling the front line manager to layoff two more people in any given week is somehow extremely impersonal. The CEO rarely sees the face of the person who no longer has a job because he made the decision to cut a job, instead of cutting some of his corporate perks. Small business owners, on the other hand, know how personal job loss is to someone. You know the people who work for you. You probably even know things about their kids and how their mom is sick in the hospital again. Telling someone that you don't have a job for them tomorrow is personal, and it hurts.
In tough economic times, layoffs may be necessary for an organization. Before you consider this option, however, consider the advice in an article by Sarah Morgan, entitled, " Put Down the Ax: 5 Alternatives to Layoffs," found at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124568686633537561.html . It lists alternative to layoffs ranging from utilizing resources of the Small Business Administration to increasing employee participation in cost cutting ideas. The article explains that it may actually be more financially reasonable to retain your trained labor because of the costs associated with lay-offs like unemployment insurance and retraining costs when you have to rehire after the economy picks back up. If your small business is struggling, layoffs may actually make the hole you're in a little deeper. Like this article recommends, make sure that you consider all of your options. If debt management is an issue affecting your business, consider talking to a qualified bankruptcy attorney about additional options. There are options to resolve your debt issues through bankruptcy so that your company can emerge from the process stronger and in a better position to move forward as the economy begins to recover. You have worked hard to run your own business. You most likely have some good people that have worked beside you, almost like family. A financial crisis doesn't have to end what you've built. When looking for options, don't leave any stones unturned.