Bumping | Meaning and Definition

What is bumping?

Bumping is reducing an employee’s position within a company to keep them employed. It usually happens when an individual is deemed too valuable to be let go, but their current role is no longer needed. In most cases, the person will be demoted to a lower-paying position or given reduced hours.

Downsizing to reserve good talent can often result in feelings of devaluation and insecurity. In some cases, it may even lead to cynicism and resentment towards management. However, if done correctly, it can also create a healthy sense of competition and cooperation within a team. Downsizing can serve as a powerful tool when positioned as part of a larger plan for growth, progression, and opportunity. 

Advantages of Bumping

The advantages of bumping are numerous and can be extremely beneficial for both employers and employees. 

From the employer’s perspective, bumping can help to avoid or minimize layoffs. It also allows the company to retain experienced and valued employees who might otherwise resign or be forced out due to a change in their job duties. In addition, bumping can provide consistency and stability during a time of upheaval and can help maintain employee morale. 

From the employee’s perspective: When an employer eliminates a position, they may “bump” an employee from a lower-paying job into the eliminated position. The theory behind bumping allows employers to retain their best talent during difficult times. 

There are both advantages and disadvantages to this practice from the perspective of the affected employees. On the one hand, being bumped into a higher-paying position can be a boon for one’s career. It can also help secure seniority during future layoffs. On the other hand, being bumped can also disrupt one’s life and cause undue stress.