In an emotional message, Blue Bell Creameries CEO and President Paul Kruse explains the "agonizing decision" to furlough some employees and lay off others. The company is struggling to regain ground after a recall stopped production.
So far, the video post on Blue Bell's Facebook page received 1,022 likes.
In a press release, the company described which and how many employees are affected:
- Employees who are essential to ongoing operations and cleaning and repair efforts will continue to work but have their pay reduced.
- A second group of employees will be placed on partially paid furlough. They will be paid a substantial portion of their current pay, with the expectation that they will return to work as production resumes.
- Because there is not a clear timeline for when production will resume, and because supply and distribution will be limited when it does, a third group of employees will be laid off.
In total, "Approximately 1,400 employees will be furloughed, and approximately 750 full-time and 700 part-time employees—or 37 percent of the total Blue Bell workforce of 3,900—will be laid off."
- Assess Kruse's video message: which principles of bad-news messages does he follow? How well does he deliver the news?
- Next, assess the press release: organization, word choice, tone, and so on. What works well, and what would you suggest the company improve?
- If you were an employee affected by this decision, how do you think you might react?