1. Have employees shorter work weeks at reduced pay. Cutting the work week from 5 days to 4 days will shrink payroll expenses by 20% (not counting benefits).
2. Encourage employees to take unpaid sabbaticals
3. Offer buyouts
4. Extend unpaid year-end breaks
5. Offer -- or even mandate -- unpaid vacation time
6. Swap or loan out employees to other businesses that may need temporary project or seasonal help.
Excellent advice. These hard times will pass. Those who retain their employees now will have loyal workers when the next boom comes. Job security means a lot. Workers are for more likely to refrain for looking for higher paying jobs if they feel their present one is secure and they feel valued.