Much like the ballooning COVID-19 pandemic, layoff announcements are far from over. Concern is growing that the the Bureau of Labor Statistics' July jobs report will show losses after positive payroll growth in May and June helped re-employ some of the 20.5 million Americans who lost their jobs in April.
This week's news perfectly illustrates those concerns: Several large corporations announced layoffs and nearly half of furloughed employees now believe their temporary layoffs will become permanent, according to CNBC.
Being laid off can be sudden and startling, but there are signs professionals can look out for to help predict their employment trajectory. While the most obvious sign is an executive announcing planned layoffs, there are more subtle ways that business leaders, human resources representatives and even clued-in managers communicate that you'll be laid off before you get that final Zoom call. These 12 phrases are often indicative of impending layoffs, especially if they're sent in company-wide emails.
While downsizing can mean cutting back on costs that aren't human capital, this language often indicates layoffs are on the horizon.
"Restructuring" almost always calls for layoffs and shifting responsibilities.
As the business-jargon whiz on your team would tell you, to synergize means to get more out of less by consolidating efforts — and often, consolidating responsibilities amongst fewer employees.
Similar to "implementing synergies," "streamlining" often means cutting off extra business fat. And, unfortunately, human capital.
"Workforce rebalancing" is another way to say "streamlining" or "synergizing" and has been used before to announce corporate layoffs, according to Business Insider.
Rather than "synergizing," if your company is planning to "pivot," that often means stopping their investments in several products — and the people who produce them.
This is "pivoting," but with more words.
"We're improving efficiencies" is another way to say "we're going to be spending less money," often by cutting down on "non-essential" tasks and human costs.
If your business is letting you know that it's struggling to meet important financial benchmarks, it's important to know that cost-cutting is often the next step in making ends meet.
Similarly, if you're business is letting you know that costs elsewhere are increasing, it's good to know that human capital cuts are often required to balance the books.
If you have a sudden, emergency meeting on the books with your entire team, it's fair to assume that important information about your employment (or the employment of your colleagues) is being discussed.
Similarly, if you have a sudden "check-in" with or "announcement" from your manager or a human resources manager, it's fair to assume your employment or compensation package may be on the rocks.
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