Synergy: the new name for redundancy

6 November 2008

The people who think up euphemistic ways for announcing layoffs probably think they are being really clever when they do it. Because I can't think of any reason why this sort of nonsense is a good idea:

"ST-NXP Wireless Adjusts to Changed Business Conditions and Accelerates Efforts to Capture Identified Synergies"

This isn't just lipstick on the pig, it's a complete plastic surgery job, only to find that you've made a Wacko Jacko-style horlicks of the whole operation. What part of that headline doesn't scream "we're cutting loads of jobs, so many that we felt the need to disguise it"?

It's not just an irritation for people reporting on these events as it serves to bury the salient points, it is an insult to the people directly affected. It signals a callousness to their plight all in the name of trying to organise a less 'negative' headline. Contrast this to how NXP handled its own cutbacks a couple of months ago where there was no attempt to paper over the cuts. Yes, the immediate headlines look bad but you don't leave the lingering bad taste that comes from this kind of mealy-mouthed nuspeak.

1 Comment

The reason for putting lipstick on the pig about announcing redundancies is that many of my clients are ashamed of the situation they have found themselves in. They are usually quickly persuaded that open communications and a public approach, that includes walking the job more than usual, is the best way to get a successful result overall.
Strangely in my experience over many years US companies are the most resistant to speaking up initially but actually communicate more during consultaion process.
Peter Vreede. Redundancy Assist