Recently, I returned from vacation to find that my boss, his peers and their boss had been told to prepare plans to reduce our group's headcount by 5% (2 people). The plan they developed and passed to upper management was to outsource two positions that report to me.

My boss and I discussed the plan, it's implications for my career (won't be a supervisor anymore) and the timing. I was surprised to hear it won't take effect until the middle of next year. My boss asked me not to discuss this with my reports. They are both solid performers and the outsourcing is related to their job being redundant and not their value to the company.

Here's my dilemma:
I want to tell them about the outsourcing now but I'm not sure if I should.

I feel like I'm doing something dishonest every time I work on next year's goals or make training plans with these two reports. I can't stand the thought of them going along as if there are no problems then suddenly finding out (next year!) they are out of a job.

Is it typical to decide to outsource a position in a year and not tell the affected employees? My gut tells me this isn't right but I need some feedback from all of you.
Is this an ethical issue or am I making too big a deal of this?
Thanks in advance.

wendii's picture
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Hey lars,

there's a similar discussion going on here:


Mark's picture
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Wendii's link is a good one.

And, you're not being dishonest - you're doing your job. This is proof that managers work for - and in some senses ARE - the company.

Yes, it can take a year.


lars's picture

Thanks Wendii and Mark.

I needed some objectivity.

To quote my dad, "No one said you have to like it."