I started working for a big, multinational company a few months ago, in an intermediate (i.e. not junior) position. A few months after I joined, another member was added to the team. The new member was hired in a similar capacity as me & does not bring any skills or expertise that the team does not have already.

The new hire seemed unnecessary to me, because my team could easily manage the workload. I did not bring this up to my manager because I did not know if there would be any future business needs that would justify the hiring & because I was new. Despite this, should I have brought this up to my manager then ?

After a few more months, our company announced planned layoffs to become efficient. From internal information, it is highly unlikely, but not guaranteed that me & my team members would be on the layoff list. Either way, I am not worried because I can comfortably look for a new job in a new company & get one "quickly" in case I end up in the list. But, for now, I would like to stay here because I am getting to learn new things.

Now, my team's workload remains unchanged, but the individual workload has decreased significantly (say, from 40 hours per week to about 30 something). The individual workload could be improved if the team size was reduced by one team member, either by reassigning a team member to teams/projects that need people or by "downsizing". How do I bring this up to my manager ?

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    Will you be framing this as "there is duplication between our roles, one of us should go," or "there is duplication in our roles, the other person, who you hired after me, should go"? You seem to be asking how to get a co-worker fired to better secure your own status. Aug 15, 2017 at 18:59
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    individual workload has decreased significantly OK, but is it down from something like 60hrs a week to 40hrs a week or more like 40hrs a week to 25hrs a week? There's a difference between having some breathing room and sitting on your hands for half the work day.
    – BSMP
    Aug 15, 2017 at 19:11
  • @PoloHoleSet - Having the co worker fired won't guarantee any security of my status. It is unlikely, but I could be on the layoff list already or might be added later. Maybe we both are in the list. Maybe the whole team is on the list.
    – JohnSink
    Aug 15, 2017 at 21:35
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    There could be several motivations. The most optimistic is that you are being considered for promotion, but they need to have someone who duplicates your skills on the team and up to speed first. They could just be looking at your team's bus factor - having an extra person lets you create backups for each role. Aug 15, 2017 at 22:56
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    You and I have drastically different definitions for what "improving" a workload means. Have you even considered asking your manager about his reasons for making the hire instead of assuming that he just wanted to bring some dead weight on board? People who aren't in a management position don't get to make hiring or firing decisions for a reason.
    – Lilienthal
    Aug 16, 2017 at 8:02

3 Answers 3


The individual workload could be improved if the team size was reduced by one team member, either by reassigning a team member to teams/projects that need people or by "downsizing". How do I bring this up to my manager ?

If you feel strongly about it, you can always volunteer to be let go.

You shouldn't suggest that others be laid off, that's not your responsibility, but you can choose to sacrifice yourself.


How do I bring this up to my manager?


Do not bring up that the team is too big, because then you might get cut. Instead, I would ask about how you can perform better at your job so that you can stand out. Sure, the individual workload has decreased, but that means you have time now to review your work to ensure that it is flawless. In addition, you mentioned you enjoyed learning new things at your job, so why not take advantage of the time and learn new things? There's a chance that in a few months a major project will come up and you won't have as much time as you do now.

  • Yes, there is a risk that my suggestion will be used to remove me and even others too.
    – JohnSink
    Aug 15, 2017 at 21:39
  • If the person has been brought in for a good reason, then no need to worry. If not, then it will be bad for you especially during financial down turns. So you'd better use the free time to prepare for interviews. Use your manager's move against them. When you have an offer, then ask the manager about the new person. If it makes sense, then maybe continue. Otherwise, quit and don't waste your time on the exit interview.
    – MasterJoe
    Mar 31, 2023 at 23:50

It isn't your job

Your manager's job is resource planning and he/she has probably already begun that planning.

It is not your job.

You would likely offend your manager with your suggestion - especially if you bring up the fact that you don't believe the new person should have been hired in the first place.

In other words, that conversation will give the impression that you think your manager is dumber than you.

And, if your manager is left with that impression, there is a high chance of you being put on the "lay off" list, not the other person.

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