Lessons in how not to communicate layoffs

Let’s look at some of these recent layoffs that weren’t done correctly and see what we can learn from them.

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In today’s economic climate, layoffs are likely to continue. As companies downsize and restructure to cut spending and refocus priorities, the resulting layoffs leave many comms lessons in their wake. There is clearly a right way and a wrong way to let your staff know that you’re moving in a new direction, and some major companies didn’t seem to get that memo recently.

Here at Ragan, we’re all about espousing the value of communicating effectively, even when the news you’re sharing isn’t ideal. Let’s look at some  the recent Google layoff comms and see what we can learn from them.

How it’s done matters

Layoffs may be an unfortunate reality of an uncertain economic climate, but the medium through which the news is communicated to a team matters. That’s a lesson Google learned the hard way. According to multiple reports, the tech giant sent around automated emails to many affected employees, some at 3 a.m. in their local time zones.

According to CBS News:

Jeremy Joslin spent two decades as a software engineer for Google only to be laid off last week along with thousands of his co-workers. The way the company notified him was “cold,” Joslin said.

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