Tech layoffs: How do you break the news professionally, and legally?

22 November 2022

By The Business Post

Tech layoffs: How do you break the news professionally, and legally?

There is a big shift in tech at the moment and people are losing their jobs in a way that is very public. Meta, Stripe, Twitter, Intercom, Salesforce and Wayflyer are among companies that have announced lay-offs in the past month and the trend doesn’t appear to slowing.

While announcing redundancies is never easy, people have been left shocked by the manner in which some tech companies have disclosed the news. Twitter, for example, has been heavily criticised for displaying a lack of empathy in its handling of the issue. Its approach differed greatly from Stripe, which was far more considered.

“The communication, I thought was quite interesting,” said Ed Rossiter, group co-chief executive of Phoenix, a tech-focused recruiter. “Stripe have obviously been heralded for their approach: even the language within their messaging to the staff was ‘we care about you and we appreciate everything that you’ve done,’ and they were pretty transparent around the highlighting of their mistakes.

“I guess if you look at Twitter it was quite cold and callous, and it was pretty to the point. It’s probably a good example of the difference between entrepreneurs that have built a business from scratch and someone that’s acquired a business: there isn't an emotional connection to staff.”

Regardless of what kind of connection you have with your employees, there are certain rules and standards around mass job cuts and the comms that need highlighting.​

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