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Ask Leslie: We Just Went Through A Reduction-In-Force. What Should I Be Considering Now?

By Leslie Zieren, The McCalmon Group, Inc.

Dear Leslie:

My company just completed a reduction-in-force. It affected several different departments. I'm concerned about my remaining employees. What should I consider?

Signed: Lawrence


Dear Lawrence:

The planning, anticipation, and implementation of a RIF is challenging, and it is good to be past that part. Now, as you correctly point out, you must be aware of the impact of the RIF on the remaining employees.

Although the impact may be wide-ranging, here are just a few basic aspects to consider:

1. Emotions: Often those whose jobs were not eliminated in a RIF have lost dear friends and colleagues to the transition. Although the RIF is complete, they are uneasy, and do not trust that there won't be another one. They may look elsewhere for employment unless you acknowledge and address the difficulty of this transition by offering training or counseling.

2. Workload: The RIF may have resulted in increased workloads for remaining employees. Take the time to evaluate each remaining position and the allocation of assignments.

3. Productivity, Engagement, and Motivation: Take active steps to keep everyone engaged in your organization's new future. Hold regular meetings to ask how people are doing, to listen, and to respond with empathy and respect. Address any rumors about the RIF. Be respectful and have an open door.

Jack McCalmon and Leslie Zieren are attorneys with more than 50 years combined experience assisting employers in lowering their risk, including answering questions, like the one above, through the McCalmon Group's Best Practices Help Line. The Best Practice Help Line is a service of The McCalmon Group, Inc. Your organization may have access to The Best Practice Help Line or a similar service from another provider at no cost to you or at a discount. For questions about The Best Practice Help Line or what similar services are available to you via this Platform, call 888.712.7667.

If you have a question that you would like Jack McCalmon or Leslie Zieren to consider for this column, please submit it to Please note that The McCalmon Group cannot guarantee that your question will be answered. Answers are based on generally accepted risk management best practices. They are not, and should not be considered, legal advice. If you need an answer immediately or desire legal advice, please call your local legal counsel.

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Latest Numbers

Unemployment Rate

4.1% in Jan 2018

Payroll Employment

+200,000(p) in Jan 2018

Average Hourly Earnings

+$0.09(p) in Jan 2018

Employment Cost Index (ECI)

+0.6% in 4th Qtr of 2017


-0.1% in 4th Qtr of 2017

Source: Department of Labor

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