Staff Reorganization

Delivered on 11/13/17 in Dallas, TX


Madam Toastmaster, fellow members, and guests. Like Danni said, I’m tasked to deliver bad news to you today. When preparing this speech, I thought about some bad news I received at work recently from my manager. I decided adapt a version of that message and break the news to you the way I wish it had been broken to me.

To give you some context, the audience is a lot of consultants with type-A personalities, and the bad news is likely to affect them personally. I have a favor to ask you: after the speech, when you’re writing that short evaluation of how I did, I would also like you to write the emotions you felt when listening to the speech. That’s very important feedback to me. Got it? Let’s begin.

Good evening everyone! Thanks for coming to this short notice meeting. I found out some unpleasant news and wanted to share with you as soon as possible.

As you know, you were all hired in April for a 1 year contract with the possibility of extension. And ever since April, the nature of this job has changed and evolved over time, and you all have done a great job adapting to it. Leadership is very happy with you work.

Unfortunately, we recently discovered an accounting mistake made by the consulting company. They used the wrong formula to forecast staffing expenses. So the project is spending money way faster than anticipated. This is not your fault, but it does have an impact on you.

Here’s what this means for your contract: Instead of ending in April, the contract will end in February. That means we’re gonna have to wrap up 10 to 12 weeks sooner than expected. I know I personally like to plan way ahead before I know I’ll be out of a job. And that’s why I wanted to give you these news now: so you can have enough time to land on your feet.

Some of you have already expressed interest in having your contract renewed. We’ve had discussions about this recently, and we’re still open to renewals, but the terms will be different because we need to take into account the correct forecasting formula.

Here’s what’s changing: instead of traveling to Dallas every week, under the new contract, you’ll only come here twice a month. For some of you, that’s great because you get to work from home and get paid the same rate. But I understand some of you have created communities here in Dallas, and I know the upcoming transition is unexpected.

This means you’ll have fewer airline miles for free and you won’t get the travel stipend every week, but on the other hand you’ll have more time at home to spend with family and friends, and you get to work in your underwear. You're losing some perks and gaining some.

As I mentioned, we’ve had big changes to this project in the past and you’ve done very well at adapting. I know these are significant changes to what you signed up for, so I’d like you to have as much lead time as possible to plan ahead.

If you have any questions, I’ll be available in my office later today. We have a lot of work to get done between now and February, but this is the A team right here, so I know we can get it done together. I’ve really enjoyed working with you so far, and I do hope you renew your contract with the new terms.