March 24, 2023

  • Compass employees laid off 10% of their workforce in June. A worker shared their story.
  • The real estate brokerage is planning another round of layoffs by the end of September.
  • This is the story of one worker affected in the first round, as told reporter Zoe Rosenberg.
  • This is an opinion piece. The idea expressed is the idea of ​​the source.


This truthful article is based on a conversation with a former Compass employee who was affected by the layoffs announced by the real estate brokerage firm on June 14.

August, a Leaked internal emails Compass CEO Robert Reffkin confirmed that more layoffs will come by October. Both rounds of layoffs are significant cost-cutting moves aimed at turning a profit for the first time.

The former employees affected in the first round did not want to be named to protect their occupations, but Insider has verified their identities and previous jobs. Dialogue has been edited for length and clarity.

There are a few indicators that can get you reading between the lines of upcoming layoffs. CEO Robert Refkin typically sends out a weekly email on Monday. This will start with what he has previously discussed with agents who are our front-line clients. He’ll respond to that conversation and reiterate the impact this has on us as Compass employees, which will drive this week’s iteration.

But when he didn’t send an email on Monday and everyone knew the market was turning, some were inclined to possibly have bad news.

The whole process is so lacking in emotion

He sent out an email on Tuesday that read roughly “We are not immune to changes in the market. Unfortunately we have to make a very difficult decision and it will be us” We choose to lay off a certain percentage of our staff . ”

He described how if you received a 15-minute calendar invitation within the next hour, you would be affected by the decision. You’ll then meet with your direct leader or your team’s leader at that meeting and learn more about how you’ve been impacted and the way forward. Towards the end of the day, I got a 15-minute invite from my team leader, about 15 minutes after Robert’s email.

I met with my lead and it was basically a scripted conversation. It’s kind of frustrating to me because it’s so impersonal. The whole process is so lacking in emotion or empathy or empathy.

My lead basically said, “Hey, starting today, your working relationship with Compass has ended. Your contractual obligations to us end next Friday. About 30 minutes after this meeting, all your commitment to our services and servers is over. Access will be revoked.”

There are some efforts to help employees who have been affected by continuing to use Cobra and offering a month’s salary as severance package. But in terms of what we do on a day-to-day basis, I have about 30 minutes after that meeting to try and figure out if I care enough to send it to someone else, or just say, “Hey, you gave me a few It took me hours to realize I was fired, so I had little reason to try and make sure the program still existed.”

Band-Aid Action

I have experienced downsizing in organizations in the past. I think the communication behind the process could have been better. I don’t think the impact on the organization is properly assessed based on how they choose to execute this process. I think assuming that would be a Band-Aid strategy. So they’ll do that and then quickly move on to their operations, trying to be lean and efficient.

But I think, in reality, the lack of assessment to understand the process has some significant social and psychological implications, especially if it’s approached in this way.

This is my first foray into a startup, a company I’ve IPO’d in the past year or so. My lingering thought is that whatever the impact of the IPO and the impact of our rapid expansion across the country, the impact of the market on our future — it just doesn’t seem like they’ve been dealt with properly or in the best possible way. For the longevity of employees and the company.

I’ve heard and know that company leaders are shocked by the speed of information. So they ended up having to clear their calendars over the next few days not only to discuss the issue and message them with those who were affected, but also to have conversations with those who weren’t. As for employees who remain at Compass, leaders are now working to ensure they still feel that the organization has their best interests at heart.

A Compass spokesman declined to comment.

If you were fired from Compass on June 14 and would like to share your story, please contact this reporter at

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