In these economic times, companies are more cost conscious than ever. Unfortunately, this also means that people are suddenly finding themselves ‘downsized’ out of work. Best Buy (BBY) is no different in trying to make it through the financial climate, but it is offering employees a rather generous incentive to quit their job.
According to the Business Review, nearly all of Best Buy’s 4,000 corporate employees were offered seven and a half months of severance pay, one year of employer-paid health insurance, one year of employer-paid life insurance and free access to outplacement services. Employees whose age and years of employment with the company add up to at least 60 receive 12 months of severance pay. This offer is also good for a limited time only for those who voluntarily agree to leave the company between now and January 5.
“We told our employees that ‘We recognize that the timing on this stinks,’” Said Best Buy spokeswoman Susan Busch. “‘We know it’s a really tough environment out there. We really want to be respectful of you, we want to give you some choice, we want to give you a generous plan so you can make some informed choices about what’s right for you.’”
While nearly all of the chain’s corporate staff were given the offer, supplies could be limited. After all, Best Buy can’t stand to lose all of its labor should they all choose to take the severance packages.
“Once we have a sense of how many people volunteer to participate in this program, we’re going to have to balance that out with some other decision across the company and decide what our next steps are, but we’re not going to speculate on what those next steps might be,” Busch added.
Best Buy’s shares fell 13 cents per share during the third quarter, which is well down from the same period in 2007 which saw a gain of 53 cents per share. Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson described the third quarter of this year the as the “most challenging environment our company has ever faced.”