What You Can Learn From HP’s Plan on Laying Off 16,000 People.

HP announced that they were planning on laying off between 11,000 and 16,000 people.

I am going to look at this from the angle of an employee and not the business aspect of it.

The biggest misconception that workers have is that if they work hard, impress their boss and get good marks on their performance review, they will advance.

Assuming every single employee at HP goes through an Annual performance review, here is a break down of how the 16,000 employees would be rated based on a bell curve rating system.

  • Exceeds Expectations: ~2,560 (16%)
  • Meets Expectations: ~10,880 (68%)
  • Below Expectations: ~2,560 (16%)

What do all three groups of employees have in common? They are all going to be laid off.

The meetings, the review forms, the doing everything to impress your boss, the loyalty to the company are all out the window in the names of cutting cost. That’s what it will come down to.

But what about the exceeds expectations resources. Shouldn’t they be saved since they are high performers?

Let’s be clear about one thing: This move isn’t a move to cut the under performing resources. This is a move to remove entire departments & product groups and everything that went into supporting those products. Also, a high performing employee in one group doesn’t necessarily translate to a high performing group in another group.

So what can you learn from this?

You should be more worried about how you are viewed outside your organization and not inside your organization. When it all comes crashing down like the Titanic, the only people that can help you are the people outside your company.

I’m not telling you to start showing up late to work. What I’m telling you is start showing up to other things that aren’t related to your job directly. Build your network, build another skill set, learn how to create things. This is the only way to survive.

PS: Read the only resignation letter template you’ll ever need.