The agency assures that the personnel cuts were consummated that Friday through emails. “Twitter is reducing its staff to help improve the health of the company. These decisions are never easy and it is with regret that we write to inform you that your position at Twitter is affected. Today is your last day of work,” says one of the emails sent to the employees to which AFP had access.
In her Linkedin account, Lucía Mendoza, better known in the advertising industry as ‘Pistola’ and appointed director of Twitter Next México in 2021, published that unfortunately she and her team were part of the large number of people who were affected by layoffs in the company.
Later, the also owner of Tesla, gave an ultimatum to other employees of the social network, so that they commit to a more demanding Twitter. According to Reuters, around 500 employees decided not to continue with the company and Musk chose to bring key personnel to meetings, trying to convince them to stay.
He even revoked his ban on working in modality home office, sending another email to staff: “all that is required for approval is your manager taking responsibility for ensuring you are making an excellent contribution.”
But the entrepreneur was unsuccessful. So many employees decided to leave that Twitter on Friday locked all staff out of its office until Monday, amid confusion over who still worked there and should have access, according to Reuters.
What should a new boss or owner avoid?
Layoffs are part of any labor scheme, as are organizational changes. However, the way they are handled makes a difference for people who leave the company and for those who stay.
“When you arrive at an organization you have to give yourself time to listen to the collaborators. A good practice is to approach them and not just investors. The fact of only focusing on recovering the money invested in the purchase of a company has become absurd,” says Juan Alberto González, co-founder of the coaching consultancy Irradiate More and former director of Microsoft Mexico.
González agrees with a more humane leadership because he is convinced that this is what companies need today to grow, and even more so coming from a pandemic that changed the world of work.
In his opinion, any leader should read the book The first 90 days, by Michael D. Watkins. It deals with a mixture of concepts, tools, cases and practical advice to understand the organizational culture, to know what is good and what can be improved in a company.
“And if you come to a company and see that it is not financially well, then you have to be very transparent about the numbers and the strategies to follow. You have to be honest, it is not about assuring anyone of their work, but about guaranteeing clarity, ”he points out.
Nora Taboada, executive coach, specialist in organizations and founder of AFE Conscious Leadership, agrees that in these times it is difficult to guarantee certainty, but you don’t get to fire, let alone impersonally.
The first thing a boss would have to do is get to know himself, evaluate himself and identify the skills that he should work on. Then get to know and evaluate the team, as well as the organizational capacity it has in order to make more accurate business decisions, says the expert consulted.
“Make learning a priority on the agenda. And there is information that comes from social learning, that is, that the same people know how the company works; there the new one is the boss”.
Now, if the company faces economic difficulties, Taboada assures that a good leader always looks for creative ways to cope with the situation and, in his imagination, dismissal is the last option.
“I have seen companies that share the situation with their employees. In the same pandemic we saw how some employers temporarily reduced wages. Really, when you are transparent and humane with people, they understand, accept and support because they know that you are taking care of their work, ”he says.
Other actions to avoid layoffs are employees taking a few days off without pay, the temporary cessation of additional benefits, or even working remotely to save on costs. Employees do “put on the shirt” when the employer brand is trustworthy.
In the case of Elon Musk, the expert perceives a lack of humility in leadership. “Lack of humility understood as questioning your methods. Leadership has a very strong connotation with the sense of justice. It is people that you are going to fire, that is why the sense of justice, ethics and integrity in the separation is stronger ”.
The most correct thing in a job separation, he adds, is to treat and care for the dignity of the person throughout the process, from how the dismissal is communicated, the conditions, the narrative of why he is leaving and the transparency on the part of the business.
“Today more than ever we need good leaders. There are positions that are not taken, but that are deserved and an important skill in any position and environment is the humility to recognize that you do not know everything, to evaluate, listen and understand others ”, he concludes.