Layoff Warning Signals

Christians are cautioned about worrying or becoming stressed over the possibility of being laid off. We are to pray and let God’s peace protect our minds and hearts (Philippians 4:6-7). However, we are not to sit in ignorance of the telltale warning signs that may indicate a pending department or company layoff. In most cases, these warning signs have been visible for quite some time, but are just now being noticed as the news media gives daily reports and dismal statistics of nationwide layoffs and unemployment. Here are five signs that may suggest an impending layoff which could impact your continued employment.

A Decrease in Retail Sales

If you work in a business where the highest company expenses are salaries and benefits, and your company is in severe cost-cutting mode because of reduced revenue and poor earnings, a layoff may be imminent. Retail sales are down significantly from past years and in order for a sales-oriented company to survive, it must reduce staff. Your risk for layoff may be even greater if you work in a staff or support role that does not have direct customer contact.

Loss of Customers and Significant Contracts

Your company has just lost a major client or lucrative contract. As a result, you may begin to see your department downsized as part of your company’s cost-cutting efforts.

Major Technology Upgrades

New technology has been introduced that will automate your unit’s work and increase productivity. If you are not an active part of the implementation or your skills are not changing, you may soon receive notification that your job will be eliminated.

Merger or Acquisition

You’ve heard rumors that the company is about to be sold and that talks are underway with potential buyers. There can be many reasons for a sale. If your company is on the sell side of the transaction, it should not surprise you when duplicate job functions are eliminated after the sale or merger.

State-of-the-Business Meetings

When the president of your company begins having candid, “town hall” meetings to discuss the business, it may be a sign of things to come. Use these sessions to gather information and ask questions. Then process the information carefully.

These are only a few warning signs that may indicate an impending layoff. To avoid paranoia and disquiet at every layoff rumor, put your trust in God to meet your needs, believing that He will always take care of you (Matthew 6:25-34, Philippians 4:19).


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