The Wrong Way to Do a Lay Off

The Golden Rule. I think most of you know what I’m talking about here. Treat others how you want to be treated, right? It sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Many times, when it comes to employees and their experience at a company it’s a very different scenario.

I recently read an article in Inc. that tells how Tesla went about laying off 14,000 employees. It’s really unbelievable to see the process they followed with the layoff. The impacted employees received an email sent by Telsa which said the company did

“a thorough review of the organization and made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount globally. Unfortunately, as a result, your position has been eliminated by this restructuring.”
The employee experience starts during the interview process pre-employment and finishes at the time the employee exits from employment. Many argue that savvy companies treat former employees as alumni, not former employees. I am actually considered an alum from a few companies I worked with when I was a W2 employee.
I understand that it’s not easy to release 14,000 employees quickly, but I am disappointed to see Tesla or any other company treating their employees with such lack of empathy and consideration. Not to mention what it does for employee morale for those still employed and for the view of their company culture. All employees deserve to be treated better than this. If Telsa ever wanted to rehire any of these displaced employees, I’m sure the employee’s response would be a resounding NO.
For a company that prides itself on cutting edge innovation and forward thinking, it appears Tesla needs to go back to the basics of the golden rule on how they should treat their employees with a level of respect even at times such as a lay off.

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Small and medium-sized businesses may not have the time or expertise to implement the necessary people strategies for business success. The ideas above can be easily implemented by you to help improve the performance of your employees which leads to increased employee engagement and increasing the bottom line. We are here to help you with the people side of your business: employee engagement, retention programs, performance management, vision, and strategic plans, leadership development, selection & onboarding, compensations programs, organizational design, employee handbooks, core values, and all things HR-related.