It’s Impossible to Explain – How We Treat People During Layoff’s

March 1, 2023

It seems more and more often, things occur that are impossible to explain.

Here’s an example.  Amid the mass layoffs currently occurring, one long-term employee posted her recent layoff experience on LinkedIn.  She did not do this to argue specifically with the decision – but wanted to take the opportunity to say goodbye and thank those she had worked with for so many years.

She wrote that she did this to have some closure because, after 16 years as a loyal professional, she was given about 20 minutes’ notice and treated as a security risk as she left.  She’s not alone, all you have to do is search the internet or LinkedIn, and there is no end to stories like this.

Certainly, there must be leaders within that company who value contribution and loyalty — leaders who understand that an organization that treats employees in this fashion will have attraction and retention challenges when it’s time to rebuild.  If nothing else, there must be leaders there who recognize how disrespectful and demeaning this is to another human being.

Do they not know?  Is this being handled by an HR department that’s far too focused on mitigating some kind of potential risk by giving short notice and whisking people out the door?  Is it because that’s the way it’s always been done before?

Given the belief that 95% of our population (including leaders) are smart, responsible, and worthwhile people, this kind of situation (which is probably prevalent in many organizations) is impossible to explain.

Times are certainly challenging and if you’re in a position where cutting costs or scaling back is a topic of conversation, reach out and let’s talk about a very different approach.