Often there are comic strips where “bosses” enjoy firing – as if there is some maniacal pleasure in the power. While the power pleasure of making strategic creative decisions is definitely one enjoyed by CEO’s, business owners and upper management – I can assure you there are very few who fit the mold of the caricature.
This is an odd post, but one that I truly believe to be an important one. As an employee you cannot truly know the agony that goes through a business owner’s mind at the thought of having to layoff good employees that they care about, that they know don’t “deserve” to lose their job. Many sleepless nights have been spent by those who have had to lay-off employees during this recession. You must also know that there is often a strong sense of self-failure and guilt felt by the leadership of a company when layoffs enter the conversation.
I know one business owner who is so loyal to his employees, he told me he thought that any company that would lay-off employees was a company that was out of integrity. He said he would rather see his company fold than to lay off an employee.
I don’t agree.
And I’m an employee advocate! But I’m also a business owner advocate. And a business advocate overall. And a business that folds, has no jobs to offer, to anybody. And instead of 10 people losing their job, 100 jobs would be lost.
How does leadership choose the 10? Very painstakingly. Thoughtfully. I can guarantee that while yes, they are figuring out how the company will cut costs, how the company will financially survive, they are thinking of all the individual contributions each employee has given as well as the impact on each employee’s life and family.
So the next time you hear of layoffs and simply think the business owner is a money hungry, blood thirsty scoundrel, think again. Because that would be a very rare case. Have some compassion and know they are going through their own personal hell and simultaneously balancing a lot of plates that feed those remaining.