Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jason Calcanis, Guy Kawasaki, and Me

Guy Kawasaki, American venture capitalist and ...Image via Wikipedia
Media Whore: I get quoted, along with Calcanis and Kawasaki.


The Folks Swinging the Ax Aren't Immune From Pain

I was recently asked by Advertising Age to discuss layoffs from the perspective of the person doing the layoff. The article titled "The Executioner's Axe" appeared on the web site yesterday. The article was written by Beth Snyder Bulick, and also features Jason Calcanis and Guy Kawasaki. Pretty good company!

What did I say? Essentially -- 1) It sucks to be laid off, and 2) It sucks just as badly to have to do the laying off.

Only I said it like this.

And this time around, with mass layoffs, hiring freezes and new jobs especially hard to come by, it makes letting people go difficult for the even the most pragmatic bosses.

"I think there's a distinction in firings vs. layoffs. [In layoffs], for the most part you're telling good people who have done nothing wrong that they're no longer needed," said Michael VanDervort, a consultant and HR blogger. "Most managers are distraught about having to do it."

In the past, Mr. VanDervort said he might have told some of the employees being let go that while things seem bad now, it will get better soon. Or he might relate stories of past layoffs where the people he let go took it as a challenge and found better jobs or opportunities. But now, he said, "I would be a lot more hesitant to give that same speech."

The one piece I wished had been included?

"It's very important for companies to provide a safety net, such as severance and extended benefits for the affected employees to the best of their ability."

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