At G2, one of our core values is authenticity. So, let’s be honest for a moment – the start of 2023 has been a challenging time for the tech industry. Layoffs from major companies continue to dominate the news, with 435 tech companies letting go of 121,000 workers in just the first two months of the year. To put this in perspective, the number of layoffs in 2023 has already surpassed 75% of 2022’s total. On top of this, the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in March dealt a significant blow to an industry already struggling to stay afloat.
As the Chief People Officer at G2, I work hard to shield our employees from external chaos. However, in times like these, external forces can become too powerful. Despite a successful 2021, G2 was not immune to the economic ups and downs of the past year. We had to quickly shift from a fast-growth mindset to a smart-growth mindset, and we were affected by the collapse of SVB, with whom we had a longstanding relationship. Throughout this downturn, our focus has been on keeping our employees engaged, valued, and part of a larger community. We believe that by maintaining active engagement, we will be better positioned to weather the storm, retain top talent, inspire stronger performance, and set ourselves up for growth when economic conditions improve.
Unfortunately, the tech industry has faced similar challenges in the past, such as the dot-com bust in the late ’90s and the 2008 Great Recession. During times like these, it becomes essential to pivot from a rapid growth mindset to one of resilience. Resilience can mean different things depending on whether we are talking about the organization as a whole or individual employees. At the organizational level, resilience requires prioritization and making tough decisions about what is essential during tough times. At G2, we focused on our people because they drive our business. Without motivated, high-performing employees, we cannot innovate, serve our customers, or grow.
During this challenging time, we have put our people first by investing in their engagement. Layoffs can have long-lasting effects on a business, with surviving employees often seeing a decline in performance and engagement. Cutting benefits and perks can also have a negative impact on employee sentiment, with employees feeling undervalued and less connected to the company. As Chief People Officer, I believe that investing in employee engagement is critical, even during tough economic times. Our continued investment in our people has paid off, with our engagement scores reaching record highs despite the challenges faced by the industry.
To achieve this level of engagement, we have prioritized authentic and transparent communication. During times of uncertainty, clarity and honesty are critical. We have been transparent with our employees about the challenges facing the industry and have prioritized open and honest communication to reduce misunderstandings and provide clarity.
In conclusion, the tech industry is facing challenging times, with layoffs and economic uncertainty dominating the headlines. However, by prioritizing resilience and investing in our people’s engagement, we can weather the storm and emerge stronger when conditions improve. At G2, we remain committed to our core values and to putting our people first.