Company speak is such a foreign language. It’s amazing how some companies manage to speak it with such pristine manner that makes the listener (usually the employee), feel completely devoid of intelligence.
Here’s a fine example which was in the news lately:
“… we have made the difficult but necessary decision to realign our employee base with the growth opportunities in front of us…”. And this, coming from an organisation that’s grown in leaps and bounds. Realign and growth opportunities in front of us? or slowdown in growth? Seems completely confounding what was being really said out here.
The recent layoff of 15000 employees in Bengaluru is not the first and by no means the last bad news to hit India’s breakneck growth of coding armies. There are more that have yet to hit the news, including some of the largest IT employers who count their employees in the 100,000+ zone and you can guess who they are.
So is mass layoffs necessarily an unpleasant exercise? It doesn’t need to be and the world has moved on from the days of brute logic of Keynesian demand and supply. Employees can be given several options, including:
- Long gardening leave
- Opportunity to turn entrepreneur through incubation
- Do bespoke jobs for the company as an independent contractor
- Outplacement to other companies and/or clients
- Organise a job fair as an industry effort to find suitable placements
There are many more. The creativity in HR need not be limited by business compulsions. A lot of this stuff doesn’t cost money. But if not done correctly, it can cost a lot – heartburn and negativity that’s difficult to win back.