In a recent article for Harvard Business Review, authors Everett
Mass layoffs have been at the order of the day ever since the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic forced global governments to put measures in place that safeguarded citizens, but curtailed economies. In America alone more than 20 million people have lost their jobs in company layoffs, resulting in an unemployment rate of more than 14% – the highest since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
There is not a CEO alive who wants to be in the position of having to resort to mass layoffs to keep their businesses afloat. It’s always terrible. Given the situation, certain enterprises went above and beyond the call of duty to soften the impact of the dismissals by rolling out a variety of helpful alumni resources. This includes the likes of Airbnb, Carta, and Uber.
Innovative Alumni Resources Offered By Major US Companies In The Wake of Mass Layoffs
Due to the impact that global shutdowns have had on the tourism and travel industry, Airbnb, the online vacation rental marketplace company based in San Francisco, was forced to let nearly a quarter of its employees go. This means Co-Founder and CEO Brian Chesky had to initiate company layoffs for 1,900+ employees.
His sincere, transparent message to his team has since gone viral, and for good reason. In addition to laying out the truth, the company did a whole lot more to ensure that their valued employees would have access to top-notch job-search resources after the layoffs were put into effect.
This includes admittance to their alumni talent directory and the ongoing support of an alumni placement team that will act as recruiters to help departing employees to find new jobs. Each employee affected by the mass layoffs also received 4 months’ worth of career transition services, as well as access to a platform that allows remaining workers to assist their departing teammates.
Carta, a Palo Alto based technology company that specializes in capitalization table management and valuation software, had to let 16% of its staff go – 161 in total. CEO Henry Ward expressed his regret at not having established an alumni network but did his best to create a platform that would allow departing employees to remain in touch and benefit from the company’s network by establishing a dedicated Slack channel.
His hope is that this platform may be used to facilitate new opportunities for those leaving. He specifically mentions it being a platform for employees to access and apply for new positions in the future. It is also a place for the Carta alumni to post about vacancies at the new companies they join, as well as share information about the businesses they start themselves.
Uber Technologies, Inc., the e-hailing company commonly known as Uber, lost a full $2.9 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2020 due to lockdown and people staying home. As a result, the company had to terminate 4000 jobs.
In reaction to these company layoffs, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi decided to forgo his annual $1 million and supported the creation of the Uber Alumni List which helps ex-employees to find new jobs.
When circumstances beyond your control make it impossible to sustain your entire staff, mass layoffs don’t have to mean a complete loss of connection. Establishing alumni networks and providing helpful resources can pave the way for a continued relationship that can prove mutually beneficial for all involved.