One of the most challenging responsibilities of being part of a leadership team is making impossible decisions with imperfect solutions. Often during times of economic uncertainty, due to unique business obstacles or larger macro issues like the global economy is facing today, companies are faced with the need to conserve capital to ensure survival. This can manifest in belt-tightening, expenditure delays, hiring freezes, cutting salaries and sometimes, reducing headcount.
Deciding which team members to lay off and sharing the news with them is rough. Seeing and feeling their reaction is even worse. But, suffering long-term or permanent brand damage as a result of not making communications-savvy decisions is untenable. As the global crisis unfolds, some companies are announcing layoffs and creating doubt about the likelihood of their survival, while others are leaving the media cycle with an optimistic narrative. The difference isn’t due to luck but has everything to do with the execution of a tactical communications strategy.
Greenbrier has helped dozens of companies over the last four years as they’ve faced a reduction in force (RIF). While each situation is unique, the way in which audiences interpret the news, and how they react to it, is not. To help businesses handle the unprecedented turmoil of our economy and navigate the very real and very fast impact, we’ve developed a series of articles below detailing best practices regarding layoff communications.
We hope that you’re never faced with laying off members of your close-knit team – but if you are, please know that you’re not in this alone and there are resources and people to help. This crisis is impacting everyone, and if you find yourself faced with sorting out layoff comms, give Lane (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Matt (email@example.com) a shout and we’ll walk you through it.
Stay safe and chin up,
Lane & Matt