The Importance of Clear, Empathetic Messages During Layoffs
In a PRsay post this past August, I noted headlines saying “Employees in shock” as companies laid off workers. PR counsel was sorely needed.
In December 2021, in an example of “how not do to it,” Better.com CEO Vishal Garg convened 900 employees of the real estate, mortgage and insurance company on a Zoom call. According to published reports, Garg told the employees they were out of work, effectively immediately. The monotone, one-way video announcement has been criticized as cold and awkward.
Garg’s missteps in employee communications, corporate reputation and public relations continued to make news. In March 2022, Better.com laid off an additional 3,000 employees in the United States and India. As The Economic Times reported, thousands of employees learned they had lost their jobs when severance payments were made before the layoffs had been announced.
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