April 22, 2013

"Don't Delay Layoffs; but go the extra mile with outplacement help"

Mukund Mohan  of Microsoft Accelerator (emphasis mine):
There may be tons of reasons, which are all very valid and humane, for you not to take any painful measures. Your first commitment should be towards your people – so do what it takes to help them land on their feet someplace else, but take the necessary actions to ensure that your business will live to fight another day. You owe it to your dream, your passion and your family to give your startup a fighting chance and keep it surviving as long as you can.
...I have been in this situation two times just in the past 3 years. At both times, revenues from a customer suddenly were in jeopardy and I had to take corrective action very quickly. The day we got to know about it, we had to let go of 4 folks in a very close knit team of 7 and the second time let go of 3 people in a smaller team of 6 people.
I had to be ruthless about the business since I wanted the company to survive. Without those cuts, the business would have folded and the folks would have been out of a job in 3-6 months anyway. I thought it would be more appropriate to be proactive. I also had to be compassionate as a leader so I took great pains to call at least 50+ friends to find a position that paid better and was more stable for most of my colleagues.
Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private company transactions, valuations and financials in India. Click Here to learn about Venture Intelligence products that help entrepreneurs Reach Out to Investors, Research Competition, Learn from Experienced Entrepreneurs and Interact with Peers. Includes the Free Deal Digest Weekly Newsletter: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.