HR and MIT's Layoff Process
I worked closely with Professors Bailyn and McKersie on their independent report and appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with them on this review of MIT’s layoff process. Like any process, it is important to self reflect and evaluate what is working well, and just as importantly, determine to which areas we should pay particular attention.
Human Resources (HR) strongly support their suggestions, particularly related to redeploying employees who have been laid off. My office is being used as a central clearing-house to match these employees with positions both in and outside the Institute.
Last year, we were able to place 30% of the employees who were laid off and hope to improve that rate this spring, when we plan to redouble our efforts in this regard.
Professors Bailyn, McKersie, and I all agree that layoffs are never easy, regardless of the environment in which you work. But I believe our approach reflects the MIT way – characterized by professionalism and care – with the focus on the laid-off employee as well as their colleagues who feel the impact.
In the past several months, I have emphasized on campus how important it is to consider alternatives to layoffs. Managers have been very creative, using attrition and other means to achieve their savings targets for the next fiscal year, using layoffs as a last resort. HR stands ready to discuss a range of alternatives which may be useful to consider. With that said, my staff and I are ready to provide support on all fronts to make the process worthy of MIT.