Rightsizing Done Right: The Best Way to Handle Layoffs

Document Type


Publication Date



The economy has slowed and the boom conditions of the 1990s are over as earnings nosedive in many business sectors. All types of organizations in all industries are performing "periodic rebalancing of the workforce" without much thought to the process. Hospitals and health-care organizations are not immune from downsizing and have experienced closures and layoffs with increasing frequency. Unfortunately, this can have tremendous ramifications to employee morale, productivity, public image, market share, and customer base, i.e., the bottom line of the business. This article explores the factors in the business decision to layoff workers from the human resource perspective and offers alternatives to layoffs. These alternatives include job sharing, cross-training, attrition, hiring freezes, early retirement, or a reduction in force as a last resort. This article also examines the wrong way to conduct a layoff and the right way using professional outplacement services and a structured planned approach. A step-by-step guide to properly notifying employees is presented, plus a topical outline of content a job seeker needs to know in this volatile labor market.


Published: Gumbus, Andra. "Rightsizing Done Right: The Best Way to Handle Layoffs." Clinical Leadership and Management Review 17.4 (2003): 198-202.

PMID: 12945515