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Introduction Cheryl Ways was still at work around 9 pm even she had been told three weeks earlier that she was soon going to be laid off. How did she do that? How did the company she worked for achieve her great working attitude? Communication was the key to success of Agilent Technology to overcome hard times and what they achieved was incredible: Despite laying off 20 percent of employees in the company, they were still listed at number 31 in Fortunes 100 best companies to work for. II. Analysis of the Case Agilent Technology deserved to receive trust and sympathy of employees as they always tried their best in

Firstly, Agilent Technology always showed their attentions toNot only when the company had to lay off employees, Agilent Technology followed the percept of HP that workers would give their best if they were treated honestly and listened to. They always maintained an open style of communication through emails, meetings, and other media. Their respect to employees helped them to be likely to convince employees in the hard time, even for the hardest situation here as layoffs.

Prior to commencing downsizing, Agilent tried other solutions to their business woes: a pay cut of 10% to save costs, reducing external consultants and hirings and calling on staff to limit travel and other discretionary spending. Minimize layoffs by reducing variable pay such as stock options and bonuses. Despite laying off 8,000 workers (20 percent of the company) in 2001, the following year the company was listed at number 31 on Fortunes 100 best

companies to work for -> retained the trust of employees and displayed empathy toward their plight Staff knew what was going on through a barrage of emails and face-to-face meetings with top management down. Other forms of communication with staff included a newsletter called InfoSparks that came out twice a week, coffee talks, brainstorming meetings, and public-address-system speeches. The 3,000 managers were given a daylong training session with an outplacement agency to bad assist them in delivering the news The main thing is to keep the communications open The main employee morale issue is anxiety, and we have learned a lot about how to deal with it.- Staff realized that management would prefer to continue with the HP values- but recognized the financial difficulties facing the company. Communication was clear and consistent. first, we decided the key messages we want to communicate each quarter about what went right or wrong and the call to action for the next quarter. This gets put together in a communication tool-kit that s sent to about 2,000 managers across the company Agilent put in place training in communication best practices, including sending 3,000 managers to an outplacement firm to hone their skills in how to let people go. you need to communicate to customers the same way you need to communicate with employees

1. How would you describe Agilent Technologys communication process for dealing with downsizing? 2. Which approach- getting the word out or getting buy-in- best characterizes the communication process? Why? 3. Apply Stace and Dunphys contingency approach to the case. What emerges from your analysis? 4. What assessments would you make of the media used by the company

5. What did Agilent do right ? Why was it able to be still voted one of the best company to work for even during its tough years? 6. What are the limits to an open communication style when faced with ongoing rounds of downsizing? What else might be done by management to retain staff motivation?