Managers, do you feel guilty after laying off your employee?

Cisco mclovin1
Feb 9 19 Comments

This is one of the things I fear about being a manager( I am currently one). Screwing someone's life and delivering the bad message. Managers who had to do this before, how did you feel after letting your employee go and make peace?


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TOP 19 Comments
  • Amazon aws_rocks
    Great, it’s a huge weight off of mine and Amazon’s shoulder. Plus now I get to fill their job with someone competent.
    Feb 9 3
    • LinkedIn taranka
      Amazon culture detected.
      Feb 9
    • New inmann
      OP asked for layoff not PIP/performance linked attrition
      Feb 9
    • Amazon aws_rocks
      My bad, then I would feel bad.
      Feb 9
  • Tumblr Olajuwo
    Unless you are a sociopath, it will be hard.
    Feb 9 0
  • Google ciwpz81@
    I feel horrible if the reason for firing is "You aren't good enough".

    If the reason is "I asked you to do X, and you argued and said you didn't want to and I kept asking you to do X because it's part of your job, and I told you you needed to or get fired and you kept arguing", then yeah...not sorry.
    Feb 9 3
    • Veeva CPdY77
      LOL, so binary.... I wish it was that simple.
      Feb 9
    • Redfin / Eng

      Redfin Eng

      Flipboard, Amazon
      I'm always curious how Google handles poor performers. I figure it doesn't happen too often due to the ridiculous interview process, but some must slip through the cracks.
      Feb 9
    • Google ciwpz81@
      Because of the interview process, yeah, most poor performance is a "your fault" kind of scenario. Didn't want to accept the results of decisions and kept trying to disrupt the team, didn't have the motivation to stop watching anime at work 24/7 and actually submit some code, disagreed with HR over whose boobs they could touch, etc.

      I've seen a few cases with people who couldn't write a document to save their life, though, and that's tougher - because clear written communication is a job requirement at L4+, but we don't interview for it. you get someone who's a fine coder, but can't even form a paragraph with a consistent train of thought... that's hard.
      Feb 10
  • New / Product

    New Product

    It sucks to deliver bad news. Period. Especially, to someone you’ve worked with and relate to as a person.

    But if you have a good relationship with that person and things have come to a lay-off, and you’re honest about the reasons, people do understand and get over it, even if it’s hard to accept when the news breaks.
    Feb 9 0
  • New 🌟 1
    Layoffs are always hard , performance or company/team wide. But because of shortage of engineering talent - all of them finds another one pretty quick. That makes it little easier in long term.

    Read "Hard Things" from Andersen - highly recommended.
    Feb 9 0
  • Microsoft gfba68
    Layoffs are horrible. If you're letting somebody go for bad performance it's one thing (still not fun) but with layoffs usually the person did nothing to deserve losing their job. It is the hardest part of the job.
    Feb 9 0
  • Magic Leap Leaper2020
    I once had a manager who put me on PIP just for analyzing a tool that was literally a POS. Tool wasn’t able to meet the basic acceptance criteria but apparently that was his bread and butter. It didn’t go well with him. But hey I took the stand and showed that MOFO a middle finger and stayed for the whole duration of pip and didn’t go to office. I know you are feeling bad coz you have morality. There are many a**holes out there who doesn’t think about what they are doing to others. But remember what karma is... it’s a b****. It will come for you when you least expect it.

    If you really don’t wanna do it then tell your boss and let him take care of it.
    Feb 12 0
  • Reddit y34bas
    Only when it’s a good person who will have a hard time finding a job after the layoff. That’s almost never the case I’m Bay Area. It’s either really low performers who expected to get laid off and everyone that gets laid off regardless how can bad they are can find something in this economy.
    Feb 10 0
  • PayPal hot4heels
    At large companies layoffs are just a way to get rid of poor performers efficiently - no PIP. Never felt bad about people unwilling to pull their own weight being let go.
    Feb 9 0
  • New inmann
    Is it a true layoff or layoff to cover up bad performance? If it's a true layoff (which is typically business reasons such as closure of a plant or business unit or change in strategy etc) you should be utmost professional and in most cases not just you but entire management is responsible for that decision and likely will pay severance. In that case, promise to help your employee by offering to provide recommendations for his job search, as well as referrals and guidance.

    If it's due to bad performance, it needs to be handled very differently.
    Feb 9 0
  • OpenTable Meliodas
    A one-off lay-off is uncommon.

    I didn’t feel bad when Intel laid off our whole business unit, because I had good people on my team, we got severance, and they were all SF based and could find new work.

    I was more disappointed with Intel for trashing staffed and working teams of developers.
    Feb 10 0
  • Microsoft / Eng boblawblog
    Make sure to blame someone else for the layoff
    Feb 11 0
  • Netflix enjoylyfe
    Or work somewhere where letting someone go is super common (and in fact expected) and you wouldn't have too much guilt.
    Feb 10 0