How to CEO

Is there really a good way to layoff your employees?

Earlier this week, AirBnB's co-founder and CEO, Brian Chesky, released an official statement that they would have to layoff up to 25% of their employees. Knowing that the travel industry has been hit especially hard during this pandemic, Brian's letter only confirmed the inevitable.

Typically, when companies layoff employees, it's a diplomatic, unemotional affair for the employer. In contrast, the employee is often given some vague reason as to why they were shown the axe and forced to sign a bunch of paperwork to terminate their business arrangement.

Not AirBnB. Brian did it very differently: 

  • He was direct and upfront about his decision - "Today, I must confirm that we are reducing the size of the Airbnb workforce." 
  • He provided context - “I am going to share as much information on how they arrived at this decision, what they were doing for those leaving,
    and what the process would be like." 
  • He voiced gratitude and recognized the value of his employees - “One of the most important ways we can honor those who are leaving is for them to know that their contributions mattered and that they will always be part of Airbnb’s story.”

Because of Brian's very honest, emotional, and transparent communication, his statement has been hugely recognized in the business world as the new global standard for how a company should handle layoffs. He exercised compassion and leadership, even whilst making such a difficult, impactful decision.

So, is there really a good way to layoff your employees? Apparently so.

Here's the whole letter: Brian's Letter to AirBnB

Let’s take notes.





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