The Layoff

My response to the HBS article, ‘The Layoff’:

After reading the article and the responses I believe that they are all reasonable. 

For Stybel and Peabody the idea is to minimize the concerns by leaving the employees alone and assuring the shareholders that there will be a downturn in the company’s price per shares but in the long run it will recover and it will be the best decision for the company.  This is not a bad idea.  I believe that this decision would encourage employees that the company trusts them and knows that this is an effect of the economy and they’ll all get through it together. 

For Jurgen Dormann I agree with his point of view.  Executives should not be meeting in a fancy restaurant to discuss layoffs.  What an ironic slam to the employees.  These would be two of the first people that Robin should let go.  They aren’t even thinking of better ways to handle the situation.  What a waste of company money.  Layoffs should be the last answer to the problem.  Now, as much as I agree with Jurgen, I work for a utility as a substation protection engineer and ABB products are terrible.  Their reclosers and breakers are poorly constructed and they don’t hold a chance against real leaders in the industry like SEL.  So it’s hard for me to really believe what he’s advocating.

As for Sutton, his advice is clear and perfectly worded.  Layoffs are a bad idea.  I’d reconstruct the most senior management and task them with finding better ways to saving money by going from the bottom up.  I’d do it quickly and I release a statement that would let the shareholders know that the decision to retain the employees was made with the long term goals of the company in mind.  Share prices will likely suffer for the time being but that Robin is confident in his employees and the business and in the long run that this would be the best course of action.


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