Marathon Strategies

Layoffs Are A Minefield: Don’t Detonate Them With Unforced Errors

By: Phil Singer, founder and CEO of Marathon Strategies

Layoff announcements are challenging enough. Unforced errors make them worse.

Case in point: Condé Nast chief Anna Wintour’s failure to remove her sunglasses when she recently laid off employees at the music website Pitchfork. Besides leaning into her Devil Wears Prada caricature, the media-savvy editor should have known better than to exacerbate what was certain to be a negative news story.

Unfortunately, Wintour is just the latest example of companies fumbling layoff announcements over the last few years, as the Los Angeles Times, X and and have all slashed their workforces in ways that have garnered outsized attention for their heavy-handedness.  

For management, navigating a layoff is among the most difficult endeavors, undertaken with the intent of bolstering a company’s financial outlook and prolonging its financial runway.

However, the way such decisions are conveyed can be just as consequential, and while hundreds of layoffs happen every day, the ones that stick in the public imagination all have one thing in common: they were poorly communicated. 

In this volatile environment, companies need to treat layoff announcements like they are public announcements and orchestrate them accordingly. Even the smallest details matter. Companies need to sweat the small stuff…

Continuing reading at PRWeek: