What’s the best way to navigate your lay off?

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
The Right Way to Lay People Off – Ben’s Blog

Once you decide that you will have to lay people off, the time elapsed between making that decision and executing that decision should be as short as possible. If word leaks (which it will inevitably do if you delay), then you will be faced with an additional set of issues.

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
The Right Way to Lay People Off – Ben’s Blog

The message to the company and the laid off individuals should not be: “this is great, we are cleaning up performance.” The message must be: “the company failed and in order to move forward, we will have to lose some excellent people.”

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
The Right Way to Lay People Off – Ben’s Blog

The reputations of your company and your managers depend on you standing tall, facing the employees who trusted you and worked hard for you. If you hired me and I busted my ass working for you, I expect you to have the courage to lay me off yourself.

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
The Right Way to Lay People Off – Ben’s Blog

Once you make it clear that managers must layoff their own people, be sure to prepare them for the task:
1. They should explain briefly what happened and that it is a company rather than a personal failure. 2. They should be clear that the employee is impacted and that the decision is non-negotiable. 3. They should be fully prepared with all of the details of the benefits and support that the company plans to provide.

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
The Right Way to Lay People Off – Ben’s Blog

Prior to executing the lay off, the CEO must address the company. When you do this, keep in mind what Intuit founder Bill Campbell told me—the message is for the people who are staying. Many of the people that you lay off will have closer relationships with the people who stay than you do, so treat them with the appropriate level of respect. Still, the company must move forward, so be careful not to apologize too much.

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
The Right Way to Lay People Off – Ben’s Blog

The people who you laid off will want to know if they still have a relationship with you and the company. Talk to people. Help them carry their things to their car. Let them know that you appreciate their efforts.