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Last year, Better.com was all over the news. But not for the right reasons.

Just before the holidays, the CEO called 900 employees to a Zoom call and fired every one of them. He even accused many employees of stealing from the company for not being honest with their timecards. This is from a CEO who earned a $25 million bonus the year before.

This event sent shockwaves through the business world. But as startling as it was, the example of Better.com teaches four crucial leadership lessons:

The importance of being human

Employees are people, so leaders need to be human. Layoffs happen. But instead of laying everyone off unexpectedly all at once, be human and show empathy and kindness.

Timing matters

Whether you’re giving good or bad news, timing matters. When you deliver updates and information has a huge impact on morale and culture. Laying off hundreds of people right before the holidays wasn’t the right timing.

Do everything in your power before you let employees go

Take care of your people and don’t jump to laying them off before trying everything else you can think of. I’ve talked with numerous CEOs who have led their companies through difficult times without firing anyone. It can require creativity and sacrifice, but do everything you can.

Employee experience is reflected in customer experience

Customers don’t want to interact with companies that treat their employees poorly. After the Better.com story went viral, the company lost numerous customers and market share. Taking care of your employees creates an environment customers want to join.

Firing 900 employees over Zoom is an extreme example of poor leadership, but it shows the impact leaders can have. The lessons learned can shape all leaders through good times and bad.

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Companies with better employee experiences have more engaged and productive workers, higher profits, and the ability to attract and retain talent. In today’s competitive talent landscape, companies can’t afford not to invest in employee experience. Download your copy and start creating better experiences for your employees and customers today!

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