So Many Different Ways to Fire Employees

A few minutes back as we were going over a Nokia announcement (Nokia Streamlines Operations in Several Units and Functions) that’s actually about firing another 1,700 employees worldwide, we couldn’t help but wonder at the flexibility of the English language in dealing with what’s a straightforward issue – laying off or kicking out employees.

Here are several euphemisms that corporations use to sugarcoat what essentially amounts to kicking out their employees:

* adjust operations
* streamline operations
* downsize
* rightsize
* affect
* scale down
* reduction in force
* headcount reduction
* align staff to current needs
* realignment of personnel
* workforce reduction
* effectively manage personnel
* resource reduction action
* management is restructuring
* redundancies caused by merger of business units
* leaving for family reasons (applies to folks at the top)
* rationalising staff
* staff redeployment exercise
* failed to pass annual evaluation (used by the Indian IT chors)

Folks, do you know of more terms/expressions that corporations deploy when they are giving employees a big kick on their backsides and shoving them onto the street?

4 Responses to "So Many Different Ways to Fire Employees"

  1. I. M. Legend   March 17, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Jan. 26: IBM (nyse: IBM – news – people ) selects 2,800 to participate in its “current resource reduction action.” Responds:

    Added resource reduction action.


  2. the gora   March 17, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Management is restructuring. Responds:

    Added to the list.


  3. kreacher   March 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    We are often “merging business units”, though this affects the pay-hogs at the top of the heap more than the ones lower down. Responds:

    Yes, redundancies caused by merging business units. Added to above list. Thanks.

    One more – leaving for family reasons (applies to folks at the top).

  4. What_if   March 18, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Rationalising staff.
    Staff redeployment exercise.
    Synergy of business units. Responds:

    Added Rationalising staff and Staff redeployment exercise to the above list.


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