A reader asked me about job cuts and retirement, coincidentally(?) on the same day a story ran in the Daily News that painted a somewhat dire picture (more dire than our actual situation warrants, but I guess the power of words rests in the subjective translation of each reader). As the first chapter in the Navigant saga draws to a close and decisions start getting made, the next logical questions start with “How?”—How do we do it? How do we enhance revenue? How do we get more efficient? How do we make decisions about jobs, and how’s the process managed? My friend’s specific question was about employees who are close to retirement, and whether they would be given a chance to work through their term before they are “given the ax?” (his words). While I think that it’s still premature to assume that any specific job is destined for the chopping block, it’s a fair question, so I did a little asking around. Guess what? There’s a policy, number 3.7.13 in IHOP, “Reduction in Force.”
I’ll save you the search: It says “Employees whose positions are subject to the RIF shall be notified in writing at least 60 calendar days prior to the elimination of the position. Employees affected by the RIF who are eligible to retire within six (6) months of notification date may maintain UTMB employment until the date of retirement eligibility.”
It’s important to remember that any sound decision has to be based on roles, not on individuals. It’s what one does, not who one is (nor how close one might or might not be to retirement), that ultimately has bearing on a decision. I remember the RIF in 1999. It wasn’t done willy-nilly; a lot of care and thought went into the process and into putting resources in place to help those affected. Normal attrition, unfilled positions, reaassignments and yes—retirement—helped us address a sizable chunk of our need. So friend, sit tight and let’s see what the dawn brings.