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Cheryl ways and agilent technology s layoffs

Please complete this case study with at least 3 sentences for each question. This is a leadership class on change. Most of her co-workers had already left for the day, but she worked on for another half hour before shutting down her computer and heading out of Agilent Technology's empty building. What's remarkable about this story is that Cheryl had been told three weeks earlier that she was soon going to be laid off.

So what was she doing, still working hard for the company putting in long hours just before being finally let go? Ways was one of 8,000 staff at Agilent Technology who were cut from the firm during 2001 and one of 2 million people throughout corporate America who lost their jobs that year. A technology and electronics manufacturer and maker of measuring and testing equipment, Agilent Technologies was spun off from Hewlett-Packard cheryl ways and agilent technology s layoffs 1999.

Hewlett-Packard was known for its "precept that workers will give their best if they're treated honestly and listened to" and this philosophy was emulated by Agilent. Maintaining an open style of communication through e-mails, meetings, and other media, senior management openly acknowledged that downsizing went against the embedded HP way of caring for staff.

Case Study: Cheryl Ways and Agilent Technology's Layoffs

Prior to commencing downsizing, Agilent tried other solutions to their business woes. Faced with a 23 percent decline in sales, a sharp fall in orders, and a falling share market, the company put in place a pay cut of 10 percent to save costs. There weren't clear guidelines for how to do this or how much savings were needed.

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As Juan Yamuni, and international treasury analyst, said: Despite laying off 8,000 workers 20 percent of the company in 2001, the following year the company was listed at number 31 on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work for.

This suggests that, for the most part, it had retained the trust of its employees and displayed empathy toward their plight. Staff knew what was going on through a "barrage of emails and face-to-face meetings with top management down; even the tired sound in the CEO's voice as he delivered news of mass layoffs.

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  • How would you describe Agilent Technology's communication process for dealing with downsizing?

When staff were laid off, Barnholt decreed that there were to be no across-the-board cuts, that specific staff would be identified, and that they would be told directly by their managers. The 3,000 managers were given a daylong training session with an outplacement agency to assist them in delivering the bad news.

  1. Staff realized that management would prefer to continue with the HP values—but recognized the financial difficulties facing the company. Honesty is an attribute that workers respect because they are given up-to-date facts about the downsizing situation and are able to prepare for any eventual layoffs and take advantage of any assistance that the company will provide such as severance payments or workshops for looking for equivalent jobs at other companies or building their...
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  3. Most of her co-workers had already left for the day, but she worked on for another half hour before shutting down her computer and heading out of Agilent Technology's empty building. Man 4741 case study.

That's how we're maintaining morale. The main employee morale issue is anxiety, and we've learned a lot about how to deal with it. Employees have come to believe in our purpose.

Staff realized that management would prefer to continue with the HP values—but recognized the financial difficulties facing the company. As Cheryl Ways said about being let go, "I felt horrible that they had to do this"; working hard up to the end was her "gift" to her co-workers who remained, "to leave my job in the best possible way.

For example, Dave Allen, the general manager of Agilent's semiconductor factory at Newark, California, announced in September 2002 that the division would be closed and shifted to Colorado and that most would lose their jobs within the year. Production at the plant initially dropped but then increased.

Case study cheryl ways and agilent technology s layoffs

Asked about this phenomenon, one of the workers at the factory, Mary Dominguez, said, "[M]aybe Fort Collins won't work. And maybe they'll let us stay.

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Whether Agilent's open communication style will be enough to retain people's motivation into the future is likely to be sorely tested under these conditions. How would you describe Agilent Technology's communication process for dealing with downsizing? Which approach—"getting the word out" or "getting buy-in"—best characterize the communication process? Apply Stace and Dunphy's contingency approach to the case.

What emerges from your analysis? What assessments would you make of the media used by the company? What are the limits to an open communication style when faced with ongoing rounds of downsizing?

What else might be done by management to retain staff motivation?

Case study cheryl ways and agilent technology s layoffs

I would describe their handling of the downsizing as effective because they kept communication lines open and were honest with workers. Honesty is an attribute that workers respect because they are given up-to-date facts about the downsizing situation and are able to prepare for any eventual layoffs and take advantage of any assistance that the company will provide such as severance payments or workshops for looking for equivalent jobs at other companies or building their.

The limits to an open communication are given.