BLUF: As we face layoffs, would it be inappropriate for me (as a manager) to ask my boss to consider demoting me back to a functional line person in lieu of laying me off, should it come to that?
My company is in the inital planning stages of layoffs. As managers, we were asked to stack rank our DRs, which I've done, in preparation for layoffs. The word was received late Thursday that our general group will need to layoff 25 people - out of 200+.
There are 6 managers reporting in to our VP / boss and our DR count is:
T: 9 [my counterpart in our functional group]
A: 14 [a stand-alone functional group]
S: 11 [S, J & L all in the same functional group]
Combined with my counterpart's team (totaling 16), our functional job area needs to layoff 3 people - all of which will be coming out of my counterpart's team, dropping his group to 6.
The standard rule of thumb, from our corporate office, is that managers within our company should handle about 7-10 DRs. My count won't change as a result of the layoffs but given the loss of 25 people, that's at least 3 managers-worth so I need to face reality.
Of the manager's at my level reporting up to our VP (and there are six), I have the least tenure with the company, though I've been in a manager role for about 2 mos longer than another peer - who sits in the same office as my VP & who has a much longer relationship with him.
We've already determined that 4 of the layoffs will happen outside of our VP's group and we've determined that 3 will come from T and another 3 from A - so that's 10 people identified out of the 25 total already.
Our VP's group (specifically the S, J, L teams) handle orders from new customers as well as from existing customers. The other two functional teams within our division (outside of our VP's control) are dedicated solely to new customers. The main group in the division is running at about 70% of plan and our new/existing group is running at 105% of plan - due primarily to orders from the existing client base, of course.
While we're all hopeful (within the VP's group) that the remaining 15 people to be selected for layoff come from the other two main groups in the division, there's a distinct possibility that T could be asked to re-absorb my 7 DR's to eliminate a manager position. (Yes, that would be 13 DR's which is above the recommended 7-10 but since A's group has been running at 14 for 18 mos, I doubt anyone would have a problem with T having 13.)
That said, would it be inappropriate for me (as a manager) to ask my boss to consider demoting me back to a functional line person in lieu of laying me off, should it come to that?
I don't want to send the message that "I think I'm the worst manager you have which means I automatically see myself on the chopping block." I really DON'T think I'm in the lowest three managers in the whole division but I also want to be realistic and pragmatic about this.
My husband was laid off about two months ago and while he was able to secure a new job, it's for about 1/2 of what he used to earn and it's 55 miles away (one-way!)
So ... what do you think? If you were in the VP's shoes and had to make these decisions and were told that you had to let go of one manager, would it be good to know that you have a manager willing / interested in going back to the line, should it come to that?
I should also mention that when I worked on the line, I was a top performer. I was consistently high in productivity. I had a wealth of product knowledge. I demonstrated leadership and a positive attitude. You know, essentially all of the things that made me stand out as a candidate for the manager position when it came open last September.
I have to think that, if I were being stack ranked as a line person, I would be pretty high in the weighted rankings, therefore somewhat justifying letting another line person lower in the rankings go and eliminating a manager position - again, should it come to that.
Or is the risk too great - if I speak up, will I be putting the idea on the table to either lay me off or demote me, sealing my own fate? Is it in poor taste? Unprofessional?
All thoughts and opinions, as well as suggestions, welcome at this point! As always, thanks in advance for your wisdom and guidance.