"Sick Systems" for layoffs?
February 2, 2016 9:52 AM   Subscribe

My work has just announced 50% of our team is likely to go between now and late spring. Issendai's Sick Systems is often quoted on the green as great advice for understanding toxic work cultures. But is there an equally pithy and insightful equivalent for understanding the social and organisational dynamics of layoffs and redundancies?
posted by Middlemarch to Work & Money (2 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There's been a lot written about it, especially in IT teams, using the term death spiral.
posted by Candleman at 10:09 AM on February 2, 2016

Best answer: Yeah, "Death Spiral" comes to mind.

"Dead Sea Effect" is another. That's because, as I am writing this, anyone who is competent is on the phone with a recruiter to find a new job and jump ship. Only the workers who feel they couldn't possible get another job stick around. Ironically, this has possibility of reducing/removing the need for layoffs. Of course, the exact opposite group of people is left, because layoffs are a good time to cut dead weight.

Some companies stop this by handing out retention bonuses. But, that only works if people are informed of them before the "we are laying off 50% of our workers" announcement goes out.
posted by sideshow at 10:23 AM on February 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

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