What The Mass Lay Offs Really Are

by | Jan 31, 2023 | Thought Piece Series | 0 comments

I was concerned that starting this post with a sentence like “with the recent run of mass layoffs”, I would be dating this piece of content. But the sad truth is that I could make that statement anytime; they happen so often.

The only difference is that this time, it’s in tech, where most of my clients work.

I’m not even going to start on the shockingly disrespectful and callous methods of letting people know they’ve lost their livelihood. It makes me too angry.

Instead, I’m focusing on what the layoffs are: bullshit we’re supposed to swallow from bad leadership.

Watching the recent flood of mass layoffs in the tech industry, I’m both unsurprised and extremely pissed off. It seems companies are never the ones that pay for their mistakes.

They are putting it down to the following:

  • overhiring
  • uncertain economic conditions
  • less revenue than expected

“I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that,” says Meta Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. source

But are you taking responsibility, Mark, and all the others? Or are you taking the easy way out to protect your numbers this qtr/year?

What I see is this:

“Um, we hired too many people in our enthusiasm to make more money; now it looks like we were too quick, so we’re getting rid of thousands of you to protect our shareholders”.

It makes my blood boil.

Shareholders can miss a bit of dividend; you can’t miss your entire income.

Where’s the grace and decency to swallow the reduction in profits for a bit, retain people, and use their collective intelligence to figure out a better way/new product etc.?

Create a new revenue stream. Or just clear up that tech debt that is clogging up your entire organisation.

Take the pressure off everyone so that stress levels come down and you actually get the benefits of the collective genius of your organisation.

Yes, profits would come down. But seriously, so what?

Big tech, didn’t you make a tonne of money during covid?

What’s actually wrong with having an ok quarter or year?

Big companies can talk as much as they want about inclusivity, high-performing teams, and cultures of trust. We won’t buy it.

Not when you will discard us like trash the minute it suits your KPIs and dividend projections.

Good leadership means being there for your people ALL the time, not just when we’re making you money.

So thanks for the generic excuse. We know what you really mean.

This is part of my Thought Piece Series, where I explore topics related to leadership and provide both answers and questions. My intention is to start meaningful conversations that help us move forward. Want to connect? Click here

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