SECTION 4 OF 4

When to consider layoffs

If you are being impacted, how you react can affect your company long-term. It may be better to not jump straight to layoffs.

Jason Schlunt, CEO of Bellows Plumbing, Heating, and Air, has asked employees if they can take a day off if they experience lighter loads in order to spread the burden through voluntary shifts off. His company hasn’t gotten to the point where layoffs, even temporary ones, would be necessary.

“I’m hoping it doesn’t get there, and I’m confident it won’t,” he said. Those employees will be needed when the weather warms and air conditioners need service. “

“We can’t go through this and get terrified,” says Tom Howard of Lee’s Air (and VP Customer Experience at ServiceTitan). “When the heat hits in the summer and we really need to run those calls, if we don’t have the people then we can’t generate the revenue that will be available to us.” He says his company is staying on track with hiring for that reason. 

“We know to have people ready for May and June when it’s hot,” Howard said. “If you see after a couple of weeks that this is taking a turn, yeah, make those corrections. But if you’re relying on data and things are going well, I’d highly recommend keeping people. If you hit the summer and you don’t have people, then you can’t get that revenue.”

Schlunt agreed. “We’re going to come out of this and we want to be ready,” he said. “We’ve put so much work into building these teams, it’s not time to start dismantling. I definitely would not recommend that unless you’re really impacted.”

With these statements in mind, it’s important to weigh the options between reducing hours, furloughing, or laying off employees.

Go to Chapter 11: Government action & disaster assistance