Cut Early, Not Often (and with Empathy)

Heidi Roizen, Stanford University

One of the hardest, most painful parts of managing a crisis, says Threshold Ventures partner Heidi Roizen, is layoffs. But immediately and drastically cutting costs and positions, she adds, is ultimately better than repeatedly demoralizing and destabilizing your staff with an endless series of smaller layoffs. By cutting deep early on, you allow remaining employees to cohere and rebuild with much higher confidence. Furthermore, she adds, it’s crucial to make any layoffs with maximum empathy. That’s even more true in the COVID-19 crisis, she says, since many people are struggling with health issues as well as economic ones.