Bankoh parent offersBy Russ Lynch
workers buyout plan
Pacific Century Financial Corp.'s redesign of its operations will mean it won't need all of its employees and the work others are doing will change, so the Bank of Hawaii parent is offering some workers voluntary severence packages.
The company is letting employees know that they can opt for a severance package. Details of the incentives being offered are being kept private because it is an internal matter, the bank said. The company also isn't saying which of its approximately 5,100 jobs will be affected.
But Richard Dahl, Pacific Century president and chief operating officer, said the plan is designed to encourage people to leave jobs that will change and at the same time open up better positions for those who remain. "None of us likes to see involuntary separations" and it is better to make it attractive for some to leave if they think they won't like the changed operations, Dahl said today.
The object is to get employees who are affected by the reorganization to come forward and "let us know, so we can manage it so we don't eliminate people who are interested in staying and keep those who are not interested," Dahl said. He said the program was designed by the company, with input from within, and did not come from Aston Associates, the Connecticut-based consulting firm that was hired to help the bank improve its operations.
"We want to do better things, not do the same things," he said.
The severance package isn't early retirement and it isn't layoffs, Dahl said, but instead is designed in the hope that enough people will use it so that layoffs aren't needed.
Pacific Century, with assets of about $15 billion and bank branches in Hawaii, the West Coast, Guam and French Polynesia, has been taking steps for several years to improve its operations. In 1995, about 400 employees opted for an early-retirement plan.