Comments about ‘LDS Church announces limited layoffs’

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 23 2013 5:05 p.m. MST

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BYUalum
South Jordan, UT

You really do not know the devastation of taking someone's job away has on a dedicated breadwinner and a family until you actually go through the motions of trying to live through it. Pain beyond any description!

  • 6:00 p.m. Jan. 23, 2013
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MoJules
Florissant, MO

I am sure that the LDS church does know and it isn't something that they want to do. There are way to many paid positions in the church which hopefully can be replaced with service missionaries and volunteers. When I was working at the MTC after my mission, I was teaching the Senior couples, there was a period where there was no one to teach and I was going and doing nothing. I quit the job, cause I did not feel right about having tithing money or whatever church funds they came from, paying for me to sit idle.

bribri86
Phoenix, AZ

I've been laid off and had a paltry severance package before. Reading that the Church stated that they are going to work with those who are laid off and give them a generous severance package is all anyone can ask for.

rok
San Diego, CA

The church should find other jobs for these people. The church can't operate like a normal business.

Lasvegaspam
Henderson, NV

I am impressed. Regardless of the fact that a company/church is growing, certain positions can become obsolete and/or duplicated, and should be eliminated. Unfortunately, we rarely see job elimination in our government, which either is continuously hiring or in hiring-freeze mode. Kudos and great respect go to the LDS Church for its wise management of resources.

jeanie
orem, UT

My husband has been laid off three times in his 20 year career as the breadwinner of our family of 7 and it is devastating. He is generally an optimistic and happy person, but not being able to provide for his family was excruciating for him.

I feel for those who will be seeking new employment because of this change. I do not believe however that the church owes these people a job as a previous person stated. I believe the church is doing everything it can and likely more than the average employer.

DistantThunder
Vincentown, NJ

The traditional job is dead. People need to recognize that as technology changes, the need for people diminishes or re-locates to areas closer to the distribution points. What most encouraging is seeing how many major media corporations are cutting back due to declining revenues. That's a sign that information is becoming more democratized and less in the hands of the big leftist corporations.

Seek to understand
Sandy, UT

Wouldn't it be a really different situation if people generally lived debt free (with the exception of their home until they can pay it off at the earliest possible time), had at least 6 months of cash reserves, and paid 10% into their long-term retirement plan and kept a year's supply of food (that is edible!)?

Then, when they are laid off (most people will need to find new employment several times in their working lives), they don't have to panic or be depressed or be distraught (at least for a few months!) while they look for a new position. They can live on their savings (and hopefully some severance) and even pick up a part-time low-paying job for cash and something to do while they wait for the right position to come along.

I have known people this disciplined and wise, and their experience being unemployed is very different from others.

EnglishAlan
Rugeley, Staffs

I am personally involved in this process, as we in Europe are going through a similar process. What I can tell you, as one who has been made redundant by a different company in the past, is that the Church has done every possible thing to ensure that the staff members concerned are being taken care of. I have personally sat with a senior manager as he has agonised over what is best to do for each individual. There has been dialogue at every stage for everyone involved, and the Church has tried to find alternative employment for everyone within other departments.

I can tell "ROK," that the Church has not operated "like any other business" in this. They have gone far beyond what anyone should, and could, expect. I have seen this at first hand, and can tell you that none of us that are personally involved feels anything but good about the way it has been handled. Sorry if that doesn't fit with some folks' opinions. It is merely the truth.

raybies
Layton, UT

Not a huge fan of lay offs in any company. IMO, they should've been hired temporarily or cutbacks could've been made gradually over the whole, rather than at one fell swoop, so that they could be transferred to capacities elsewhere in their overall corporation.

I find this sort of thing a lack of foresight by management, which I hold entirely responsible for things like this. Managers typically get paid more because they are entrusted with employees whose lives are dependent upon them making important decisions regarding the resources available to the company. If the church wants this to be purely corporate in nature, they need to face the prospects that this is a systematic management failure. There are alternatives to lay offs. Lay offs disrupt the whole company, destroy morale of the workers still there, increase their workloads and are a sign of a lack of longterm vision... not to mention the poor folks being laid off and the crippling effects of joblessness.

Anyhow that's my opinion on the business end. This says nothing of the religious aspects which I'm sure are entirely above board and responsible and trustworthy.

Montana Mormon
Miles City, MT

Having had experience as a Church employee and reduction in force, I can vouch for two things: (1) The Church leadership takes very seriously the impact that RIFs have on people; and (2) the leadership does offer very generous severance packages to try to help those impacted get through the difficult transition period. Unlike our US government, the Church lives within its means, so some painful realities exist and difficult decisions have to be made. My sincere sympathies to those whose lives are being deeply affected.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

This is a common business decision.

But let's not forget or deny that this decision is being made by a business, and a big one at that, led by Harvard MBAs and other business executives.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

I worked for an international corporation that used to force rank their employee's performance and would lay off (let go) the bottom 10% every year. At first I thought it was heartless and cruel but then it dawned on me that it was to protect the rest of our jobs. In a very competitive world, many companies fail because they are not efficient enough and that is a threat to every employee. Be efficient or die in the real world!

jeanie
orem, UT

Seek to understand - we lived just as you described, debt free, actually had a year's savings in the bank, had a very low house payment, no other debt, we owned our 2 cars and had a two year supply of food. While we waited for the right position to come along (as my husband sent out resume after resume, did interview after interview, and worked his tail off for 8 months this last time) he worked as a ski lift operator. We could take care of ourselves just fine.

Nevertheless, when a man has been prepared to be a provider - in our case 10 years of college and 3 good (useful) degrees at distinguished universities - and takes seriously his god-given commandment to ,"multiply and replenish the earth" and to "provide and protect", and then has his ability to do so severed, it's not a cake walk for him even if he is debt free. The family feels a lot less suffering when, with some belt tightening, they can continue with the life they have known, but it is still very hard on the father.

LValfre
CHICAGO, IL

The fact that there are paid employees and so many business executives says something in itself.

J-TX
Allen, TX

Anyone familiar with the new curriculum knew this was coming.

Eagles63
Provo, UT

I've been self-employed about 20 of my 26 years in the workplace. When you're self-employed you are laid off all the time. There is no severance package when the project ends. No safety net. It is all about working hard. You have to learn to create and recreate your opportunities. Our society is losing people like myself and progressing rapidly towards an entitlement society where a job is taken for granted. I don't wish unemployment on anyone, but anyone who is unemployed and able bodied should take advantage of exploring their creative side during that period and see what you may find. I'm sure many do and those that are successful at it often find out that the saying is true, "necessity is the Mother of invention" and fulfillment I might had.

suzyk#1
Mount Pleasant, UT

I can tell you the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints takes very serious any decision that affects their employees. It must be an important issue for them to do this. There is not a more efficient or caring employer in the world. They are fair, comparable and honest and I know they will do everything they can to make this bearable for the employees that are being laid off. They wouldn't do it any other way.

Gr8Dane
Tremonton, UT

I would hope the church would treat their employees like they would want to be treated, and as we're taught. I just wonder why they didn't institute a "hiring freeze" a couple of years ago, and then offer incentives for people to retire early or leave, instead of just issuing layoffs to hundreds of people. Wouldn't that have been a more humane and "orderly" way to do things? Or am I guilty of "steadying" the ark by even positing the comment?

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

@Gr8Dane

"I just wonder why they didn't institute a "hiring freeze" a couple of years ago, and then offer incentives for people to retire early or leave, instead of just issuing layoffs to hundreds of people."

Correct me if wrong, but I heard from somebody who works for the Church that they have been offering retiring incentives to some of their more seasoned employees.

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