Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

Prepare for and Manage a Reduction in Force

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on April 21, 2009

If the current economic downturn has made a reduction in force (RIF) necessary for your small business, it is important to prepare for it adequately, conduct it efficiently, and then deal with the aftermath humanely. Here are some steps to ensure your RIF goes smoothly:

1. Clarify your business goals. Ask yourself: What do I want to achieve overall, and will this move help me toward that end?

2. Determine the criteria for selection and clarify the process for decision-making regarding "the list." This process of selection needs to be done in a constructive manner, or it can have an adverse impact on your organization. The process should be consistent and nondiscriminatory.

3. Minimize the risk.Pay particular attention to protected classes as defined by the law.

4. Think of the contingencies. Your people are leaving but the work remains. How do you maintain your intellectual property when some of it may be walking out the door? How do you transfer work to the right places?

5. Lessen the pain for those leaving.

Provide outplacement services whenever possible, and try to ease the transition through some kind of severance package.

6. Make the plan comprehensive. Have a detailed plan and implement it without error. This includes the training of those involved in the reduction, plus all the logistics of facilities, physical security, IT, and more.

As you go through the actual RIF, three steps are important:

1. Balance both respect and security. The process should be as humane as possible while protecting the interests of your organization.

2. Define and communicate a clear start and end. Clarify the start and end points of the RIF in order to allay fears and keep morale as high as possible under the circumstances.

3. Execute the plan flawlessly. Everything has to be well-orchestrated, including having a timeline for all activities, someone in charge of each step, and escalation/security procedures.

Tim Weyland
Director of Human Capital Consulting
San Leandro, Calif.

Post a comment



Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.

To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!