They don’t teach how to conduct layoffs in college or graduate school. Maybe that is why, when recessionary winds are in the air, they are usually accompanied by increasing gusts of poorly executed layoffs that rocket all over social media.
Nobody is going to forget Better.com CEO Vishal Garg firing 900 employees at once over Zoom in December. Five months later, Carvana did the exact same thing with almost twice as many employees. In June, Recurrent Ventures literally tossed all the MEL Magazine staff out in the middle of its daily Google Hangout meeting and immediately killed their Slack and company email accounts.
All three situations resulted in horrific beatings across the press and social media, painting the top executives as cruel and heartless. Garg even took a sudden sabbatical for one month.
Forced headcount reductions are already painful, but the insensitivity of how some of them are carried out never fails to disappoint, proving again and again how necessary this subject needs to be taught.
Bungled layoffs have huge reverberations. It’s not a far stretch to say if you can’t do this right, how can people have faith in your management, leadership and future stability—now and in the future?