The Better.com Debacle

Before reading, please make sure to check out my post on firing in the NFL.

A recent example of a mishandled firing situation involving employees of Better.com caused quite a controversy. If you’re not familiar with what happened, take a read here. In short:

About 900 employees of real estate company Better.com were asked to attend a Zoom call on Wednesday. But rather than offering a holiday message to workers, CEO Vishal Garg delivered a 3-minute speech informing attendees they were “terminated effectively immediately.”

This was a total bungling from all perspectives. Not only did the employees leave the meeting confused by his decision (having heard little rationale for it), they also left infuriated by the lack of consideration on behalf of the company. What do I mean? Well, let’s review the key moves made by NFL teams in my previous article, and the failure of the company to meet some of these moves.

First, let’s discuss the meeting. On this front, the company failed to show the consideration to meet with any of these 900 employees in person, instead opting for a zoom call. That immediately shows a lack of respect for the employee, as there is little transparency that can be communicated online when compared to an in-person conversation.

More on that zoom meeting, which lasted just three minutes: According to reports, it was a one-way zoom meeting, in which there was no time for questions or concerns. Employees had no chance to respond to the shocking news, which accentuates their feeling of powerlessness in relation to company executives.

Now, NFL teams kept their meetings at about the same length to the Better.com meeting in my study, but that was because it was for one person rather than 900. Let’s also consider that, in training camp, players know that there is a chance for them to be fired, which allows for less explanation on the coach’s behalf. Both sides are familiar with the context in which the firing is taking place, which was not the same for the surprised Better.com employees.

All of these factors combined for an experience that was far more miserable for the fired employees than it had to be. It reveals the minimal value that the company places on respecting their employees, and prospective applicants should take note of Better.com’s handling of the situation before applying to work for the company.

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Aaron King

Aaron King

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