MySpace just cut 420 jobs at the behest of new CEO Owen Van Natta. See the Ad Age story here. Without knowing to what extent Mr. Van Natta researched these RIFed people (corporate speak for Reduction In Force), I’m going to offer a thought.
A more social approach to the layoff: Idea 1. Prior to the RIF, hold a town meeting asking all employees how to improve MySpace. The loudest, most ardent opinions will surface. Idea 2. Ask everyone at the town meeting to weight in on the same question, anonymously, and as with a tag cloud organize the key words into a prioritized solution set. Idea 3. After the all-hands meeting hold face-to-face meetings with each employee on the RIF list asking the question “What needs to be fixed to make MySpace a better property.” Not exit interview stuff, truly constructive stuff. Use this time to find the gems on the list. MySpace, after all, is a social networking site. There are some things the algorithm can’t do. Finding and retaining the best people requires an ear. Peace!