Ex Microsoft HR VP says nobody likes firing people during holidays, layoffs are common at the start of a year

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At the beginning of this year, several tech giants announced mass layoffs, taking the entire tech world by storm. Thousands of techies lost their jobs out of nowhere and LinkedIn was full of messages from people impacted by the layoffs wave. And now, according to Microsoft’s former HR VP Chris Williams, companies hand the pink slip to employees during the first quarter of the year as laying them off during the holidays would be rude.

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In an authored piece for Business Insider, Williams elaborated how the end of the year is different for top executives at a company. This is the time when they ponder over their business’s health and take some drastic decisions.

He began the piece by writing how during the end of the year, many of us like to hit the reset button and make fresh plans. When it comes to a working setup, it means moving on from past issues and setting new goals.

Managers often kick off the year with meetings to start things right. However, in the big offices (C-Suite), things are quite different. They make bigger changes, like shaking up the whole company. That’s why you often see companies reorganizing or laying off people in the first few months. The new year also brings big ideas, like starting new projects or businesses. But for top bosses, especially if they’re feeling financial pressure, they need results fast. That’s why layoffs are so common early in the year.

Williams also added that even though top executives might have thought about layoffs before, it’s usually delayed until after the holidays because it’s not appropriate to do it during that time.

“The layoffs may have been pending in the back of the executive’s mind for some time. But a layoff around the holidays is in such poor taste that most have been convinced by the HR team to delay it until the new year. The first quarter it is,” Williams wrote.

Earlier, the ex-Microsoft executive had penned a piece in which he talked about what employees could do after getting laid off. He shared that he had also been a “victim” of layoffs earlier in his life and wanted to advise people who are stuck in this situation about what they should do.

The first thing that Williams listed was to go through all the paperwork carefully. People often get overwhelmed when they hear about their layoff and it is quite natural. However, going through all the paperwork is quite important. Before signing anything, take your time in analysing and thoroughly understanding all that is written. The next point that Williams mentioned is that you should keep in mind if you have any sort of leverage in the whole scenario.

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He also asked all affected by layoffs to consider taking the legal route.

Williams also advised people to keep building their professional network, even when they aren’t getting laid off. Having a strong network can really go a long way in professional scenarios.

Published By:

Divyanshi Sharma

Published On:

Dec 28, 2023

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Ex Microsoft HR VP says nobody likes firing people during holidays, layoffs are common at the start of a year

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