Best Buy's Choices
I am proud of the way Best Buy has conducted itself while making the tough decision to reduce corporate staff in light of the economy and our business plan for next year.
In December, we announced a voluntary separation program for approximately 4,000 corporate employees and leaders. The voluntary program offered a financial incentive,12 months of Best Buy-paid health, dental and life insurance benefits and outplacement services. About 500 people opted to take the voluntary program, and for a wide variety of reasons. I heard stories about employees leaving to fulfill the dream of owning their own business, caring for a sick relative, being home with young children, returning to school to pursue education for a new career path - the reasons were as varied as the employees themselves.
I firmly believe that this voluntary program was successful because it not only aligns with Best Buy's values by being honest and transparent about the need to reduce corporate payroll expense, but it also gave employees a measure of choice as it related to their future employment with the company. We'll be saying good bye to our colleagues who took the voluntary package on Feb. 12.
We again followed our values when we decided that it also was necessary to conduct an involuntary layoff at our corporate headquarters. We told them on Jan. 27th that notification about involuntary changes would take place on Feb. 19. Yes, it was difficult news for our employees to digest. And yes, we knew that it would create some tension as we were unable to share details about the involuntary program. However, our culture is one of transparency and we knew that our employees wanted to know what the future held.
While it is always difficult when good people move on, we are committed in our values and confident in our priorities and strategic for surviving this economic downturn and thriving on the other side.
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