Decision Making 101: Layoffs

I thought we’d end the week with a little exercise – perhaps one of the most thought provoking yet.

Imagine that you work for a company that, for whatever reason, had a workforce that consisted primarily of white males. Throughout the years you have managed to change the face of the workforce and the company now has a significant number of female, African American, Asian, and Hispanic workers.

Your organisation is experiencing severe financial difficulties and you will need to lay off about 1/3 of your 1,000 member workforce. If your plan works you will be able to hire them all back in approximately 6-9 months.

What will you do in order to:

  • Choose which employees to lay off while not changing the diversity you’ve worked to hard to create?
  • Communicate the decision to lay off a significant number of employees to the rest of the team? and
  • Make sure your team understands the change is temporary in nature?

It’s a tall order, for sure. How will you handle the decision making process?

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

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