Staff Learns of Layoffs Via E-mail Mistake

Carat executives document message points for employees and clients.

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"I unfortunately have some difficult news which affects you and your position with the company." That is the first line employees at media agency Carat will hear if they are laid off this week, according to documents posted on

All Carat employees got an inside look today at how companies plan for layoffs—both how they prepare to tell employees and inform clients—when an E-mail intended for upper management was sent to the entire staff, reports. The documents offer message points for executives speaking with different groups, including the "critical talent" unaffected by the layoffs. In those points, the company emphasizes the term "right-size," rather than downsize.

For your own inside look, here is an unedited passage from the "message to impacted employees":

I unfortunately have some difficult news which affects you and your position with the company. Based on the continued reduction in our client's spend and a restructuring of the core functions (insert group here), we had to evaluate a number of factors and took a hard look at our future and current business need (capacity), performance, and the evolving skill sets needed for our clients and their businesses. As a result, we no longer have a role for you. This was a very difficult decision which is affecting a number of people across Carat. Your last day with the company wil be_____________.

I know this is difficult news to handle. I want you to know that we have prepared some information that I would like to review with you now. This is important information concerning your severance, medical benefits and outplacement assistance. This is the package we have arranged for anyone affected by a reduction in staff such as this.

Please know that we value your contribution to the company and want to help you as your transition into the next stage of your professional career. Let's review your package and make sure you understand what we have provided. We also have outplacement services to offer you as a part of your transition if you are interested in taking advantage of that service.

If you would like to go home today and come back tomorrow to clean out your desk or office, you are free to do so. We would like you to meet with your manager following our meeting to transition your work. We will be communicating to your team today. Your manager will be contacting clients. We ask that you do not contact your client to discuss this situation. As this is affecting a number of people, we will be communicating to the office later today what has occurred.

Please review the materials that we have provided for you. You have one week (or 45 days depending on situation) to review your severance agreement, sign it and return it to me. In the meantime, don't hesitate to call me if you have any questions.


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