National / International News

How companies like Microsoft should handle mass layoffs

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-17 09:43

Over the next year, Microsoft says it will be cutting up to 18,000 jobs, the biggest job cuts in the company’s history. The cuts are the result of the corporation re-aligning itself after it acquired Nokia in April.

Mass layoffs are very hard on workers, even the ones who are spared, but there are right ways and wrong ways to manage the process. We asked Sara Grant, adjunct associate professor at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU and Robert Sutton, professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and author of the book, "Scaling up Excellence," for some thoughts.

Here are their suggestions about what managers and companies should do:

Set clear boundaries.

Companies need to be clear about how many jobs are getting cut, when people will know and how they will know. Rumors run rampant in times of uncertainty and it's important for companies to get out in front of the panic as much as they can. It's essential that companies honor these timetables, if they don't, there can be a feeling that the layoffs are never-ending.

Answer the question, "Why?"

Companies need to explain why the layoffs are happening and try to help people make sense of the situation.

Give people some control over the process.

Employees need to have some kind of say in the process and feel like their voices are being heard. Voluntary buyouts are one way to achieve this.

Treat departing workers with respect.

This is crucial. People in management needs to be in the office physically when layoffs are happening. They should be compassionate and present Hiding in their office during this time is not a good idea.

Provide laid off workers with support.

Companies should provide résumé help, wih other advice and support to employees who are leaving. Most importantly, they need to give workers a fair severance package.

Listen to dissenters.

There's often a temptation for companies to punish people who speak out during times of turmoil, but those conversations should be encouraged. Employees need to feel like they're part of the process.

Let people mourn.

Workers are saying goodbye to friends, lunch buddies and supervisors. They're often taking on more work. Be sensitive that the workers who stay will have mixed emotions and need support and time to process a big layoff.

Provide a clear vision for the future.

Employees need to feel like the company has direction. Do this by providing a clear vision to workers about where they are headed and where the company itself is headed.

Broadway legend Elaine Stritch dies

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 09:34
Broadway legend and film and television star Elaine Stritch dies at her home in Michigan at the age of 89.

Canadian senator faces fraud charges

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 09:29
Canadian authorities lay 31 charges, including bribery and fraud, against Senator Mike Duffy in an ongoing expenses row.

Wildfire In Washington State Threatens Hundreds Of Homes

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 09:28

Firefighters have yet to contain the blaze in the central part of the state. The Chiwaukum Creek Fire is burning through heavy timber and sent a plume of smoke 25,000 feet into the air.

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Widow criticises £200k Airbus fine

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 09:23
The widow of Airbus worker Donald Williams who died in an accident at the plant criticises the £200,000 fine imposed for a health and safety breach.

Claim and counter-claim in bedroom row

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 09:19
Claim and counter-claim in benefit cuts battle

Strike Averted On Nation's Largest Commuter Rail Line

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 09:11

Unions representing Long Island Rail Road workers had threatened to go out on strike Sunday, potentially stranding hundreds of thousands of commuters. But a deal was reached Thursday.

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Would a Marketplace by any other name smell as sweet?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-17 09:09

Retailers spend a lot of time thinking about what the shopping experience is like for customers, and how that reflects on the store’s brand. They think about the signature decor of the store, they think about lighting and they think about overhead music –and they think about the store’s scent. In fact, scent is something they’ve thought long and hard about.

“If [retailers] don’t connect and make it a comfortable, welcoming place to shop, and to spend their money, consumers will go somewhere else” says Andy Kindfuller, CEO of ScentAir. His company creates signature scents based on what he calls “brand attributes.”

Kindfuller is adamant that these aren’t perfumes. Their scents are dispersed through a space with the company’s equipment. They’ve worked with medical waiting rooms where the goal was to create a calming atmosphere, with a hotel whose lobby now subtly smells like cookies and tea, and a sport stadium that smells, as Kindfuller says, “like victory.”

ScentAir works closely with their client’s marketing team as they devise a scent. When it comes to actually creating the fragrance, Kindfuller says it really does boil down to a team of folks in a room with a whiteboard.

“The perfumers that we use, use up to 10,000 different ingredients... what’s amazing is they can identify those 10,000 just by smell and so we will often create a fragrance that can have several hundred different notes.”

Kindfuller and his team even made a scent for Marketplace. We've been having our staff try them out today.

 

Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal:

 

Marketplace reporter Krissy Clark:

 

Marketplace reporter David Weinberg:

<a href="http://marketplaceapm.polldaddy.com/s/what-does-business-smell-like">View Survey</a>

Would a Marketplace by any other name smell as sweet?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-17 09:09

Retailers spend a lot of time thinking about what the shopping experience is like for customers, and how that reflects on the store’s brand. They think about the signature decor of the store, they think about lighting and they think about overhead music –and they think about the store’s scent. In fact, scent is something they’ve thought long and hard about.

“If [retailers] don’t connect and make it a comfortable, welcoming place to shop, and to spend their money, consumers will go somewhere else” says Andy Kindfuller, CEO of ScentAir. His company creates signature scents based on what he calls “brand attributes.”

Kindfuller is adamant that these aren’t perfumes. Their scents are dispersed through a space with the company’s equipment. They’ve worked with medical waiting rooms where the goal was to create a calming atmosphere, with a hotel whose lobby now subtly smells like cookies and tea, and a sport stadium that smells, as Kindfuller says, “like victory.”

ScentAir works closely with their client’s marketing team as they devise a scent. When it comes to actually creating the fragrance, Kindfuller says it really does boil down to a team of folks in a room with a whiteboard.

“The perfumers that we use, use up to 10,000 different ingredients... what’s amazing is they can identify those 10,000 just by smell and so we will often create a fragrance that can have several hundred different notes.”

Kindfuller and his team even made a scent for Marketplace. We're having our staff try them out today.

 

NotW 'undermined axe murder probe'

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 09:09
A retired Metropolitan Police detective accuses News of the World journalists of attempting "to undermine" his investigation into an axe murder.

New Gaza exchanges after truce ends

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 09:06
Israeli air strikes and Palestinian rocket fire resume after a temporary truce in Gaza ends, but talks continue in Egypt for a fuller ceasefire.

Labour plan to part nationalise rail

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 08:59
Labour will soon unveil a promise to change the law to allow for the part re-nationalisation of the rail network, the BBC has learned.

Kincora should be part of probe: Vaz

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 08:59
The chair of a Westminster committee says an expert from Northern Ireland should be included in a new investigation into child abuse across the UK.

UK space shot's tribute to Newton

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 08:41
British astronaut Tim Peake has picked "Principia" to be the name of his mission into space next year.

Woods unsurprised by solid start

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 08:38
Tiger Woods was far from shocked by his impressive opening round of 69 at Hoylake despite his recent injury worries.

CEO Of Ignition Switch Maker Says No Responsibility For GM Deaths

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 08:31

Rodney O'Neal, CEO of Delphi Automotive, says the ignition switch was redesigned according to GM specifications. GM CEO Mary Barra acknowledged, "It's our responsibility."

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Ex-Labour minister backs Yes vote

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 08:18
A former Merseyside MP and ex-Labour minister endorses Scottish independence as Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond makes a speech in Liverpool.

Beyonce leads MTV video nominations

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 08:05
Beyonce is in the running for eight prizes at the MTV Video Music Awards, including video of the year and best female.

She's Got A Perfect Afro — And A Melodious Vision For African Musicians

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 08:02

Meklit Hadero was born in Ethiopia and raised in the U.S. She's a folk-jazz artist who's been likened to Joni Mitchell. And she brings East African musicians together to share their beats.

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VIDEO: Assisted dying 'a dangerous path'

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 08:01
Paralympic multi-gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, has spoken out against the legalisation of assisted dying, warning that a bill proposed by Former Labour Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer does not have "adequate safeguards".
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