A little while back, we commented on a longstanding company that’s never had to hand out a single pink slip. Turns out, it isn’t alone.
As the reports of the record number of layoffs continue to dominate the news, it’s refreshing to hear success stories that don’t involve a downsizing effort.
Here are a few such stories:
Industry: California-based grocery chain with multiple locations throughout the state.
Years in business: 81.
Layoff-resistant strategies: Cautious job assignment and crafty labor management.
Examples: Sharing employees throughout multiple locations; cross-training; not replacing workers who leave voluntarily during slow times; relying on past employees (i.e., college students on break) for temporary help during busy times.
Industry: Energy company headquartered in Oklahoma.
Years in business: 38.
Layoff-resistant strategies: Company philosophy centered around dedication to talented staff; low costs during downturns and market booms; slicing operating budgets to match production’s cash flow.
Examples: Shrewd practice of hiring — and retaining — highly skilled staff; turnover stays at 4% a year. The company also has a flexible salary review process: In down years, employees can give up raises, but in up years, there can be mid-year salary raises.
Industry: Supplemental insurance provider with customers in the U.S. and Japan.
Years in business: 36.
Layoff-resistant strategies: Always staying fiscally responsible; keeping a vigilant watch over its budget; listening to and implementing employees’ suggestions, named “Bright Ideas.”
Examples: Telecommuting and flex schedules were started based on employee suggestions; four newly green-lighted “Bright Ideas” are projected to save $3 million annually. Company has had double-digit sales growth every year since 1990.