Can Good PR Salvage Earlier Mistakes?

5/21/2020, By Gabrielle Loh

It seems the answer is Yes! 
We have been reading about how Airbnb did such a great job in managing their retrenchment exercise and indeed, we award it with a gold star for clear communications and comprehensive messaging.   

As we dug deeper, we found that Airbnb had earlier laid off contractual workers and canceled their summer internships after securing USD2billion for debt and equity (here and here).  

However, the clear and transparent messaging by their CEO had eclipsed the earlier layoffs and the fact that Airbnb has been delaying their IPO.  


Uber, on the other hand, got into the news with the most recent layoff of its customer service staff and recruiters. They notified 3,500 of their staff over a 3-minute Zoom call.  


As Forbes aptly put, “the way in which a company downsizes its staff says a lot about the organization” and its leadership.  


What would others say about your organization when it is time to do the deed?   


Our main takeaway – Being upfront, transparent, and comprehensive with your employees about the reasons behind the retrenchment and benefits buys a lot of goodwill with your internal and external stakeholders.   

Just as divorces are hardly amicable, exit management exercises are never easy, in fact, it is the toughest organizational exercise for business leaders and HR practitioners to manage.   


Email me [email protected] if you need any advice on exit management.