I know this from first-hand experience.
Even if the company treats those affected fairly (which doesn't always happen), the people impacted have to worry about what's next for themselves and their families, and the ones who remain are often left with not only survivor syndrome but also twice the work to complete.
But the harsh reality is that sometimes layoffs are legitimately necessary for a business to survive.
That's of little comfort for the people who suddenly find themselves out of work, of course.
But for those who remain, it's critical the company's most senior leaders are candid about what needs to happen next.
Candour isn't enough, though; those leaders also need to be authentic, empathetic, transparent, and realistic.
They need to send a clear and believable message that things will get better with time and collective effort, however uncertain that might appear to the survivors receiving that communication.
Barry McCarthy, Peloton Interactive's new CEO, had a pretty tough task to complete on his first day.
But the letter he sent to Peloton's employees was exactly what was needed.*
The letter isn't enough, obviously. There's still a lot of work that needs to be done.
But it's a tremendous first step forward.
Here's the letter...
P.S. "Intuition drives testing. Data drives decision-making." I've always believed this, but I loved seeing it articulated so clearly.