Is there any good way of going about lay-offs? Nope. I know a lot of senior editors and while people constantly get removed for screw-ups and non-performance, lay-offs are not those. Here, people, usually hard-working ones lose a job because of reasons beyond their control. But even then, information can play a huge role.
Telling employees that you have more lay-offs scheduled through a third-party seems strange and to many not honest. I have been lucky that I have worked under editors who believe at (a level of, any which way) transparency. Most of them have at least. I have always had issues with people who protect non-confidential or work-related ‘information’ – whether that is company information on employment or a phone number. No I don’t always want to know what launches are around the corner or detailed financials, but if times are tough I would like to know what the hell is going on and openness there is something that I respect.
When that trust breaks down, that reflects on the quality of reportage and the confidence of even your best resources. And trust can break down – and then the stories and the leaks start. Some true and some patently absurd, but because of the situation you actually even listen to them. There are stories that people have been called back from assigned for a ‘talk’ or that the really high-cost senior resources haven’t cut back. And confidence levels drop to the point that numbers start to fall. As do profits and it all becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.
It doesn’t have to be this way, you know. But the trouble is that the business books will probably look back and write about this as a case-study in ‘How not to’ and that, frankly, is the worst condemnation you can get.
PS: It appears that other than the ICL, Subhash Chandra’s other ‘venture’ (which was a JV) is also facing trouble and is on the block with the JV partners looking to cede management control. Hmmm…
EDIT: Typo in headline corrected - 'Soiled Undies' I guess is the best interpretation and what I really wanted to say in the first place.