Downsizing just before Christmas

12/4/2020, By Sze-Yen Chee

Dear Yen, 

I’ve just been informed by Senior Management that we must conduct a “Rightsizing” exercise in 2 weeks. It’s exactly a week before Christmas! I feel it’s wrong to do so. What can I do? 


Dear Julie,

In many organizations, senior leaders are not always aware of cultures outside their own. I’m happy to know you care.

Here are 3 tips:

1. You could try to appeal to their humanity and empathy that it is unkind to do exit management during a festive season. However, the message will be more effective if positioned as a business case as such news would definitely affect their corporate brand and employer reputation. Do send a message about how poorly it would reflect on them to retrench staff just before a major holiday. It’s no different than retrenching at Chinese New Year.

2. Ask for time to ensure proper planning and execution. Some Managers may require training and mental preparation as well. It can be very stressful to conduct the notification meeting. Do not be forced to rush into things as it could turn out badly. 

3. If your organization really has to restructure during this season, do treat your exiting staff compassionately and with dignity. 

Please reach out to us if you need more support. 

All the best,