The most obvious sign layoffs are coming:
Executives hint at layoffs using other terms, like 'restructuring' "downsizing," "right-sizing" "reorganizing," "incremental synergies," "offshoring," and "streamlining." "headcount reductions" "workforce rebalancing."
"Synergy" is a word that should terrify employees: "Synergy is what you get when you eliminate redundancies in your efforts to cut costs."
A WARN notice has been issued. If more than 250 full-time employees are being let go a company must file a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) with the state's Department of Labor (DOL) 90 days prior to the layoffs. This is public information that can be found on a state's DOL website.
Company shifts to online internet business strategy. Shifting as many as possible jobs overseas to reduce labor cost for all production and technical functions.
Company starts to bring in more contractors to replace employee functions
Company starts to offer packets to resign or retire
Company starts giving 'non-negotiable' job offer to employees
Company is trying desperately to save its dying flagship product.
Company is aggressively hiring new employees in a business that is not growing at a similar rate. Many times the new employees are to replace existing higher cost employees.
Company brings in a new board-appointed CFO to look over the books.
There's already been a round of layoffs. The first round of layoffs is rarely the last.
Internal job postings get taken down
You're expected to do more with less.
People are told they can't work from home or must report to the office on a specific day.
The higher-ups take steps to 'improve efficiencies' to reduce labor
Bringing in consultants to analyze the business processses
Higher-ups start quitting or if they start heading for the exits.
If you start to get ton of questions about what you do.
Requests to share passwords, training documents, and other things that may not be written down are sometimes done to smooth impending dismissals.
The discretionary stuff starts to go are signs that the end is nigh.
Company bills aren't getting paid
The uprooting and closing of plants
"Rumors and speculation of possible layoffs coming"
Conference rooms are booked by HR all day meetings or HR off-site meetings are signs big changes are coming.
HR folks prefer to deliver bad news like layoffs behind closed doors.
HR sends you a questioaire/survey to rate your manager and company. Regardless if you fill out positively, negitively or do not complete the survey you will be terminated or laid off in 2-4 weeks. The survey will be used against you if and appeal, protest or lawsuit occurs regardless how you complete the survey. The only thing that will derail your termination is if the company or your manager has broken any laws and they come into question before your termination. Also went major scandal regarding the companies business practices occurs things typically are delayed for 6-12 months.
You're invited to a group meeting with the department head, and their personal assistant confirms with you that you'll be there.
You notice ramped-up security
Your access to work accounts and work related info begins to be limited or denied.
If you're locked out of password-protected, company-monitored accounts.
Managers are suddenly pulled into a series of meetings that span a few days.
If managers find it difficult to directly answer questions about what is going on with all the meetings, this could serve as confirmation.
Upper management avoids eye contact or try to avoid you.
There are a lot of empty boxes around
You stop getting invited to important meetings.
There are more tissue boxes than usual around
Memos to employees detailing imminent layoffs.