Elon Musk Was Right to Let People Go at Twitter. How He Conducted the Layoffs Was All Wrong

Like everyone else, I’ve been watching the Twitter meltdown while munching popcorn and wondering what amazing thing will happen next. As an HR person, I know that many people in big corporations could disappear without affecting the company’s product–including many HR positions.

It is abundantly clear that Twitter had a bloated staff.

Now Musk did not go about terminations the right way. They were too fast and too haphazard. He mistakenly fired people he should have kept.

When conducting layoffs, it’s important to remember that you are eliminating positions, not particular employees. So, while it may have been satisfying for Musk to terminate certain people who spouted off to him on Twitter, it’s not the best idea to do that.

But how can you tell if you should eliminate a position? Here are three essential things to look at!

to keep reading, click here: Elon Musk Was Right to Let People Go at Twitter. How He Conducted the Layoffs Was All Wrong

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4 thoughts on “Elon Musk Was Right to Let People Go at Twitter. How He Conducted the Layoffs Was All Wrong

  1. I’m not sure how we even know that Twitter had a bloated staff, since — apparently — no one yet has performed a credible analysis. Clearly, with their pre-Musk staff, they still had a long way to go on their professed goals of improving their content moderation, not to mention their profitability. And, if they’re now right-sized, what’s the deal about their having to commit, by 5 p.m. today, to “hardcore” working conditions? Obviously, he’s still trying to force a whole new batch of departures. But, at any rate, it’s still hard to see how Musk was right to let people go when he hadn’t followed any of the steps recommended in the article. And, I guess that firing people by email, which was, at one point in time, considered an absolute no-no in this forum, is now perfectly fine?

    1. “And, if they’re now right-sized, what’s the deal about their having to commit, by 5 p.m. today, to “hardcore” working conditions?”

      This sort of thing isn’t terribly uncommon. Giving Elon the benefit of several fairly large doubts, he’s not just trimming fat, he’s taking the company in new directions. This means that some positions are going to be obviated, and the rest of the staff are going to have to work in new directions and explore new opportunities in addition to dealing with the remaining core business.

      Less generously: Elon is attempting to run Twitter like a lean startup tech company. If you’ve got 10 employees, most of whom are buddies, yeah, you can do twelve-hour days routinely. The problem is, Twitter isn’t a startup. It’s an established company, and far too large to operate using the same methods as a startup. Startups generally are below the Dunbar Number and don’t need a lot of management, for example. Multibillion dollar multinational corporations are a tad above the Dunbar Number, and that means that they need a lot of “useless employees” like project managers, program managers, HR staff, and the like–they need, in other words, management. And they need to understand that employees aren’t there for the vision, they’re there for the paycheck.

  2. Granted we don’t know all the details involved in the takeover and devolvement of positions at Twitter, but there was a large amount of labor cost waste also and waste of corporate funding. I can’t believe that they had kept a full-staffed food service onboard while less than 10% of the employees even showed up for work in person at the office. Before I get ripped apart for not appreciating remote workers, there was a reason that those in-office workers got all those benefits, while at the office. I, personally would have been grateful to get free coffee, but these 6-figure earners were getting 3 square meals daily, plus spa services, etc, but felt it was beyond them to come to work in person at the office on a regular basis. Now they are complaining about being starved because the food service has been cut back.
    Perhaps, Musk’s HR representatives, may not have done everything to the letter in the firing/layoffs procedures but they all got compensation for more than the law required. Which was probably in motion from the first day of negotiations during the sale, that Twitter was supposed to provide notice to the employees that their job positions will be terminated as of the acquisition by Musk but the whole management team thought it was never going to happen, even when it did.
    Because we are not getting a true representation of what was going on, we don’t know the real story, except a biased viewpoint from people who assumed they would never be fired or lose their jobs. And now they are trying to keep their claim of a job and be very vocal-in-the-face-posting on Twitter to their new boss–which is an instant fire on the spot action.

    1. Except as far as the law is concerned, the letter of the law is what matters.

      And if you are going to force me to return to the office when I have been working remotely and meeting my objectives and if you want me to work 100 hours a week for no extra pay, you damn well better feed me.

      I hope the law wins on this one. I am watching with popcorn.

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