In a business enterprise, downsizing is reducing the number of employees on the operating payroll. Some users distinguish downsizing from a layoff , with downsizing intended to be a permanent downscaling and a layoff intended to be a temporary downscaling in which employees may later be rehired. Businesses use several techniques in downsizing, including providing incentives to take early retirement and transfer to subsidiary companies, but the most common technique is to simply terminate the employment of a certain number of people.
Rightsizing is downsizing in the belief that an enterprise really should operate with fewer people. Dumbsizing is downsizing that, in retrospect, failed to achieve the desired effect.