How not to announce job cuts, part 97

Tomorrow's Business

A classic of the genre here from Societe Generale, and not in a good way.

The important part of its press release today is that it is announcing 1600 job cuts – quite a lot – though it won’t say how many of those will be in London (something its folk in London would surely be curious to know).

The statement begins with the slogan The Future Is You, which sounds awfully positive.

The release is headlined: “Societe Generale adapts to ensure its profitable and sustainable growth.” That’s good news too, right?

Then there’s a load of guff about “strategic adjustments”, the “wholesale business model” and “differentiating competitive advantages”.

You have to get over the page before you get to the actual news: 1600 jobs are for the chop. So the Future might be You, but somewhere else.

The contacts given are all French so I think we can absolve the London office from any blame here.

I think big companies have no idea how much damage they do to their public image and to staff morale by trying to dress up bad news like job cuts as if it were good.

For the outside reader, it is mockable. For staff, it is insulting.

There is only one way to announce job losses. Say what you are doing in the simplest language possible. Say sorry. Then say why you are doing it.

Big banks restructure all the time. Jobs go. Best to avoid adding insult to injury with corporate gobbledegook like this.

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