Table: The Costs of Downsizing vs. the No-Layoff Payoff

Massive layoffs can backfire after taking into account:

-- Severance and rehiring costs

-- Potential lawsuits from aggrieved workers

-- Loss of institutional memory and trust in management

-- Lack of staffers when the economy rebounds

-- Survivors who are risk-averse, paranoid, and political

Companies that avoid downsizing say they get:

-- A fiercely loyal, more productive workforce

-- Higher customer satisfaction

-- Readiness to snap back with the economy

-- A recruiting edge

-- Workers who aren't afraid to innovate, knowing their jobs are safe

Data: BusinessWeek

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