This CEO’s 2,000 Word Email Explains Why German Managers Are Superior Than Those in the U.S.

by Evil HR Lady on July 10, 2019

German superiority is something one shouldn’t throw around lightly–there are too many negative stereotypes about that. But, when Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing announced the company would layoff 18,000 workers, he didn’t leave it just at that. He sent a 2,000-word email to his employees, explaining what was happening.

Here’s why that was a great way to spread bad news.

Information always helps

Losing your job is terrible. There’s no way around that. But understanding the whys often helps with the transitions. Sewing says:

First let me say this: I am very much aware that in rebuilding our bank, we are making deep cuts. I personally greatly regret the impact this will have on some of you. In the long-term interests of our bank, however, we have no choice other than to approach this transformation decisively. Only then can we build on our long-standing history and make Deutsche Bank a leading bank once again. A bank which we can be justifiably proud o

To keep reading, click here: This CEO’s 2,000 Word Email Explains Why German Managers Are Superior Than Those in the U.S.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

grannybunny July 10, 2019 at 3:03 pm

I don’t see a big difference between all the corporate-speak in this email and the gobbledy-gook routinely spit out by corporate mouthpieces in America and elsewhere. No doubt the thousands of employees getting laid off are heartened by the statement that 5 billion Euros will be returned to the shareholders in the next 3 years, and by the news arriving from elsewhere about Deutsche Bank’s questionable practices in providing financing to the Trump businesses after most other financial institutions declined to do so.

Reply

Robert July 11, 2019 at 8:31 pm

@grannybunny “No doubt the thousands of employees getting laid off are heartened by the statement that 5 billion Euros will be returned to the shareholders in the next 3 years”

I think you’re missing the point here. That email isn’t trying to console the employees getting laid off. That email is trying to assure the remaining employees that the CEO has a viable plan how to save the company. It’s trying to assure them that they’re not on a sinking ship, that this isn’t just the first of many waves of layoffs. A CEO has to at least try to do that when he’s announcing massive layoffs.

In that context, that 5 billion figure is there to support the CEO’s claim that he has a viable plan. He’s signaling that the company is not in quite such a bad shape as some might think. At least they won’t have to ask outside investors for additional money. They’re even going to have some spare money.

If you still think that email was bad, I’d like to know how you would have written it.

Reply

Kathy July 10, 2019 at 4:34 pm

I have seen such well worded layoff announcements before and they still seem tone deaf to me. “We are taking this step to make our great company better!” appeals to employee loyalty. It is based on the assumption that the employee who has always been a loyal member of “our great company” will continue to care about its success as he reads that it is somebody else’s company now, not his. Especially to the engaged employee, one who has made caring about his company a part of his life, this is morally wrenching.

Reply

MariaRose July 10, 2019 at 5:39 pm

Typical rhetoric of a corporate mind trying to appear caring but really saying that employees are merely numbers not people. This was just a fancier version of the same message.

Reply

Elizabeth West July 10, 2019 at 6:38 pm

That’s a nicely worded email, but Deutsche Bank is in HUUUUUGE trouble over money laundering practices, so their reason for laying people off seems disingenuous.

Reply

Gayle Goldberg July 10, 2019 at 8:45 pm

The title of your post can easily be misinterpreted. The Nazis believed that Germans were superior to others, and your use of the phrase “Why Germans … are superior” is quite off-putting. Please consider rewording it.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: