Layoff Spin

Primary sources exposed and explained.
Dec. 8 2008 2:50 PM

Layoff Spin

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Last month more than half a million American workers lost their jobs. How exactly do you tell an employee that his or her services are no longer needed? Institutional guidelines at two University of California campuses (see here and here) recommend "constant, open, and empathic communication." Somewhat less sentimentally, the Fairport, N.Y.-based H.R. Works Inc. advises: "Protect company assets," taking the precaution, for instance, to shut down the laid-off employee's computer and network access not after but "during the termination meeting." The state of Minnesota's instructions warn managers to be prepared for the worst: "If you are concerned that the employee may react to the news in a hostile or threatening manner, be sure to have a safety plan in place. This should include notice to Capitol Security." In the self-published Employee Termination Guidebook ($247.00 + shipping), "turnaround" consultant Kevin Muir urges managers to move quickly before the doomed employee starts "telling lies about you, turning others against you and destroying your reputation."

Inadvertently, the advertising company Carat  provided a window on its termination process in September when the "Chief People Officer" of its New York office accidentally e-mailed companywide an 18-page draft PowerPoint presentation outlining the firm's "restructuring communications plan" (excerpts below and on the following three pages). Within days, AdAge had posted the document.

1_123125_2137821_2180654_2203776_2206234_layoffpp1
Advertisement

Please send ideas for Hot Document to documents@slate.com.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

The World’s Politest Protesters

The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

How Did the Royals Win Despite Bunting So Many Times? Bunting Is a Terrible Strategy.

Federal Law Enforcement Has Declared War on Encryption

Justice and the FBI really do not like Apple’s and Google’s new privacy measures.

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.

Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 6:39 PM Spoiler Special: Transparent
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?