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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Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

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... Be efficient or die in the real world!"

I worked for a division of GE, who did this. And they were a very dysfunctional organization. In fact, the organization in GE who I worked for no longer exists. I fully agree that workers must remain competitive, but the "cutthroat" competitive performance expectations actually backfires. In fact, there is strong evidence that Microsoft's inability to be competitive in new technologies is related to their cutthroat employee performance appraisals.

Still, I am glad the LDS Church is trying to take care of people. But, unfortunately, this will hurt their reputation as an employer. I work in IT, and the Church doesn't have the best reputation as a good employer in the first place. Especially since they just eliminated their pension plan for new employees. I get contacted by recruiters frequently in behalf of the LDS Church and I always politely decline. I love the Church, and wish I could work there, but unfortunately I won't be able to.

Juan Figuroa
Seattle, WA

No,Gr8Dane, what you're doing is quite the opposite of steadying the ark. It's a free country, and you're free to criticise, but criticism itself isn't the definition of "steadying the ark." That term describes "correcting" individuals to keep them in line. Much like what I'm doing here.

Cedar Hills, UT

I can tell you that current church employees are going to reevaluate their church employment especially with the improving tech industry. You don't work at the church for the meager raises or the fact that you have to dress appropriately. You work at the Church because you enjoyed the projects and the fact that the Church always avoided layoffs by not over hiring and running lean as well as going out of their way to replace you somewhere else in the org if a project did get cancelled. Those days are now in the past and the new business model now seems to be more like many in the cut-throat tech industry. For example the church now has cross the line with layoffs AND the church is going to a contract to hire model where you get hired as a temp for 6 months and are allowed to fight it out with the other temps and the last man standing gets the job. Terrible stressful environment. I have always avoided the contract to hire situations if at all possible. In any event I suspect there will more leaving for better and more stable work soon.

Stansbury Park, Ut

Been laid off two times and it is not pleasant. Neither employer offered a decent severance package or any real assistance in getting a new job. It is life changing. Did the resumee thing, but failed to get a job. Took a minimum wage job to get by each time and moved up in the new company. The problem is that each time this happens, you are in effect starting over. I'm now over 60 and trying for decent employment. Believe me, there is blatant age discrimination out there. I have multiple college degrees and a good work history. It is hard to even maintain reserves after a couple of layoffs. It takes years to recover economically from each one and because you are now last hired, you can be first let go in many places. I have a good work ethic and it hurts to be unable to get a decent job. I feel for these folks and hope it works out well for them.

JD Books
Sulphurdale, UT

Imagine all of the people who are going to be "layed off" because of the change in mission age. It is going to hurt a lot of people who work in higher education in this state.

Cedar Hills, UT


No question age discrimination is real and the only ways I see to at least to survive anymore is to make certain your skills are current AND your debt is low if at all possible. Having all of our kids moved on now my wife and I were enjoying our rather large home but then realized we really didn't need all the room and would be much better off downsizing. It is nice to have a large home so your kids can come home to roost if need be but reality these days says otherwise. Our plans are to sale and cut our loan and square footage in half. I suspect interest rates aren't going to remain low for much longer the way Obama is driving our debt up so ...maybe a 2 year window I have heard?

Cedar Hills, UT

re:Utes Fan

Agree 100%. The Church's reputation as a good employer is going to take a nose dive over this no question. Why work for the Church when they now have resorted to the layoff model seen at other hi-tech companies? Might as well get higher pay and bonus's if you have to deal with layoffs plus not have to dress up. The idea that Church will now hire to do a new project and then fire after the project is completed is basically a contract position. Might as well work for STG or other contract type company where at least they set up interviews for you after your work is complete. If the Church wants to retain and attract good engineers it is going to have to PROVE is't old loyalty is still intact and this was a one time thing. I doubt the Church will say anything because I do believe they will conduct more layoffs going forward.

Henderson, NV

Eagles63- Both you and my husband seem to know what many people choose to ignore. Being self-employed guarantees that you never get handed a pink slip. Losing one or two clients, here or there, is only motivation to gain new ones; but you never completely lose your job. Both my husband and later my brother decided to hang out their own shingles after experiencing lay-offs. Turned out to be the BEST thing that ever happened to both of them!

Louisiana Cougar
Pineville, LA

It's ggod to see the LDS Church recognizing that the social contract needs to be honored with their employees. The employment-at-will rule is "morally bankrupt" according to many ethics and human resource management scholars.

Auckland NZ, 00

Lasvegaspam: Kudos and great respect go to the LDS Church for its wise management of resources.

Unfortunately, we don't have any means of judging how wisely the LDS Church manages its resources, since the institution has a non-transparent financial policy. The people who give funds to church coffers and labour to church projects are not given access to financial reports about how their contributions are used. To say that church funds are managed wisely is a proclamation of faith; it is not based on hidden balance sheets.

Falconer, NY


"Anyone familiar with the new curriculum knew this was coming."

Yep, on my visit to SLC I stopped by the Distribution Center and was greatly disappointed by the lack of material in general and especially the NO MATERIAL for the Come Follow Me curriculum. It's all on-line. I would not have predicted the lay-off but I am not surprised.

Idaho Falls, ID

@ Scientist

There is a business aspect to the church- to EVERY church for that matter. But the LDS church is not primarily a business. It's a church. I'm pretty sure you recognize that.

orem, UT

Eagles 63 - the idea to explore new options during a time of unemployement is right on. After our 3rd layoff my husband changed careers and although we make a lot less money, he has greater job security and goes to work with a smile now.


“a planned reduction in workforce” What does that mean? It means they decided to lay some people off, then they did. Why use public relations-speak instead of just telling it like it is?


Based on what my friends who have worked for the Church have told me, the people laid off will probably do just fine. People don't work for the Church because of the high pay (the joke I was told is that they automatically deduct your tithing b/c the pay is so low) or because they can't get a job somewhere else. Generally they want to do something important and different than the rest of the world. These are skilled people who will have offers before they spend the severance package. Good luck to them.

Health Junkie
North Salt Lake, UT

Was their a final count? "Limited Layoffs" seems like a PR stunt dutifully reported by their Deseret News. Did they send the employees information on LDS Employment Centers? Did they encourage employees to sign up for government services like unemployment? Did they give people vouchers for the Bishop's Storehouse? Did they warn you about this possibility before the Christmas holidays so people could conserve resources and stockpile cash for this rainy day? So many questions I have that the article seemed to leave out. Did they define "Generous Severance?"

A Scientist
Provo, UT

O'really wrote:

"There is a business aspect to the church- to EVERY church for that matter. But the LDS church is not primarily a business. It's a church. I'm pretty sure you recognize that."

I'm pretty sure the "business aspect" is much more primary and dominant that the faithful care to recognize.


I heard from someone who works for the Church that a friend who just got laid off is getting 6 months pay plus one week's pay for every year worked plus one year medical coverage. Seems like fairly "Generous Severance."

Sacramento, CA

For what it's worth, even a church business--hey, even if it's LDS--is still made up of...wait for it...real, live, and imperfect human beings. They get just what every other well-meaning, caring, honest, and concerned businessperson does, and that is, many hard-working, happy employees, which, no doubt, they treat well. And they, too, are generous when decisions have to be made that are not happily made. This is business, too, and just because these are LDS businesspersons does not make them better, worse, luckier or less so than any other caring and concerned person would be for his or her employees. Those who are let go, no matter how careful they have been, may, depending on how easily they may be able to fit into another placement, will still be jobless at the moment, need to turn to some sort of assistance, no doubt, like it or not, and their lives are not the same. While the LDS Church is not Scrooge by any means, it can still do only so much as an employer. Don't expect more.

Springville, UT


You asked why the Church didn't have a hiring freeze. They DID have a hiring freeze, quite a long one, in fact. I know because I have worked for BYU in the past and the freeze not only affected the main Church organization jobs, but also all the colleges and universities belonging to the Church. Of course, the freeze went into effect right at the same time as my husband was laid off from his non-Church job. Even though I was seeking work, not only the Church schools but also the State schools had similar freezes and it took me 3 years to find work. Believe me, the Church doesn't just hire because it would be "nice" to give someone work. They wait until there is a legitimate need and they can afford it.

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