Take This Job and Love It: Employees Would Go Back to Workplace That Downsized Them


NEW YORK (BankingMyWay) – Here’s a list Main Street Americans likely don’t want to be on: the 5 million Americans who have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

The agency notes there are another 2.6 million American adults “marginally attached” to the U.S. workforce, meaning they’ve been downsized but have found part-time work, or who have seen full-time hours cut back significantly.

But researchers at Temple University have an interesting take on the hearts and minds of what economists have come to call “hardship workers.”

Despite the sting of a layoff, about half of all fired employees would return to work with their former employer – even if they were still furious over how they were treated.

Overall, 45% of all workers told Temple researchers they would return to work for an employer that showed them the door.

The study, conducted by business management professor Gary J. Blau at the university’s Fox School of Business, says there are 12.5 million Americans out of work right now.

But times are so tough, going back to work for an employer that issued a pink slip isn’t personal – it’s business. (The path back to that employer is smoother, however, if the layoff process was handled in an a humane, amicable manner.

“How employers treat employees through layoffs is always important and will become even more so when the economy fully rebounds and it’s an employees’ market again,” Blau says.

Employers need to be especially careful on layoffs, as social media outlets and employee-venting websites such as Glassdoor allow staffers and ex-staffers to erode a company’s brand by broadcasting how poorly it treats it workers.

But on the employee side, the relationship is strictly out of necessity – jobs are so scarce that even an offer from an ex-employer is seen as a positive career step, and a good way to pay the bills and put some groceries on the table.

The study was skewed toward higher earners, as 64% of the 382 workers surveyed earned more than $75,000 annually and 79% had a college degree.

But 65% of all respondents were out of work for 27 weeks or longer, making the need to get a job – any job – was paramount.

“People are at a point where they’re losing their houses, their wives or husbands are leaving them. They’re in a severe hardship,” offers Tony Petrucci, an assistant professor and managing partner at executive and board search firm Gravitas who helped in the study. “People are saying, ‘I may not like this employer because of how they handled my layoff. I’m angry, but I would consider going back to work with them.’ It’s a state of desperation.”

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