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tHis LinkedIn posts were heart wrenching. The woman who learned of her layoff on the same day she gave birth. The young program director who was about to take his family for a tour of the office before reading it. The software engineer who was up until 3am the night before work, only to find out the email after hours meant his visa was now in jeopardy.
These are the stories of people who work at tech companies where layoff notices have been emailed. In some cases, there was no formal meeting with their managers. There is no company-wide town hall where the CEO had to get up and break the news in front of the people. Not even a Zoom call drops the hammer.
Have we reached the age of the digital pink slide? It sure is starting to look that way. From Twitter to Salesforce to Google, employees have received notification — whether initially or in full — from their inbox. This week I spoke with placement, recruiting, and HR experts about why. Some have suggested that this is evidence that lawyers, not managers, are running the show — after all, email is much easier to control than an emotional moderator. Others pointed out that there is a lack of practice regarding mass layoffs – many of these big tech companies have never had to make cuts of this magnitude before. Some still think it may have been indecision from the company’s leaders because they, too, will end up like Better.com CEO Vishal Garg, who went viral after Zoom’s layoffs.
After I posted my story on LinkedIn, a senior personnel officer — Colin McCreary, formerly of Credit Karma — commented that the practice of email layoff notices was just “complete laziness,” describing how she’s made job cuts in the past, with each affected person having a conversation. With his manager within two hours. “This is important — years later, people still comment on how respected they feel and remember the company fondly.”
Here we hope more take this approach. If you’ve been keeping track of companies that are cutting jobs, here’s a layoff tracker, which ForbesBrian Bushard is diligently updated. Speaking of layoffs at Google, my colleague Richard Neiva took a look at how workers at Alphabet’s “other bets” like Waymo and Verily aren’t getting as much layoffs as other Google workers. And as always, our contributors have insights into why big tech layoffs happen, how you can leverage your soft skills to find a tech job in another industry and how to regain a sense of psychological safety after mass layoffs.
The most connected black woman on Wall Street has an ingenious idea to narrow the wealth gap
Ariel Investments’ Project Black aims to break through the scale barrier faced by black entrepreneurs by acquiring companies with $100m to $1bn in sales, and if those companies aren’t already run by a minority, install Black and Latino CEOs to run them – “reduce size” companies, said co-CEO Melody Hobson. Read more on Hobson’s profile for Maneet Ahuja and Hank Tucker here.
on our agenda
News from the world of work
But no, it doesn’t work anymore: Mass demonstrations gripped cities across France for the second time in two weeks Tuesday, as eight major unions joined forces to protest the French government’s proposed sweeping pension reform, which includes raising the national retirement age from 62 to 64.
CEO Payment Policy: New research by academics at Durham University Business School in the UK and Sabancı Business School in Turkey shows that elections that bring left-leaning politicians to power lower CEO salaries in that niche by an average of nearly 6%, he wrote. Forbes Contributor Josie Cox.
Super Bowl Leadership Styles: The match is set between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs. But a more compelling story may not involve either player, he writes Forbes Contributor Theodore McDara. All eyes should be on the two men wearing headphones on the sidelines: head coaches Andy Reid and Nick Siriani. At opposite ends of their careers, how different are their leadership philosophies?
No longer the hero: Researchers found in a study published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Forbes Anna Fajoy reports on the study, which through 11 trials with 6,500 participants, examined the relationship between “hero” language and lower rates of employment and earnings.
Rx for lack of pharmacists: Major pharmacy chains have announced that they will reduce their operating hours in March following a labor shortage, according to reports ForbesAnthony Tellez. Employment growth for pharmacists is expected to grow just 2%, much slower than other occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also reports that demand for pharmacists has picked up as their roles expand beyond filling prescriptions.
Totally fumbling: Louisiana State University paid football coach Brian Kelly more than $1 million last year, according to a Louisiana legislative auditor, adding to the coach’s already staggering salary — but the payments turned out to be accidental and the university reached an agreement with the coach to get his money back.
Insights and practical advice from Forbes Contributors to building your career, driving smarter and finding balance.
Can’t get enough ZZZs? A sleep psychologist explains how to turn off your brain at night.
Taking – or making – counter offers is never a good idea. Here’s why.
Survived a round of layoffs? Deal with any guilt you may be feeling with these five thoughts.
It’s easy to feel stuck in your job during an economic downturn — try these tips to make progress.
Layoffs are not the end of the world. Here’s how to get to the next party.
Books, links, and other readings from around the web about work, careers, and leadership.
“The business” could come to an end, he writes AtlanticDerek Thompson, where rich Americans work less and buy more free time.
FoxRani Malla examines how layoffs of tech workers can benefit traditional firms, all of which are hiring and in need of workers with tech skills.
in Elevation: Turning stress into performance and crisis into creativityHumanitarian crisis expert Ben Ramalingam explains how to reframe responses to stress and stress, and use them instead to benefit your business and your mindset.