Letting go of an unqualified member is unavoidable sometimes. But my question is not about that. My situation is when the business is not thriving and my employer has to layoff people, anyone who is not “essential” to the team probably will be laid off.
This is a sad situation but my boss believes there will be a “positive” effect since the remaining ones will work harder in fear that if I don’t work harder I may be next. I don’t like that thought at all because I believe people want to work hard only because they believe they can gain something from it and not because of fear.
But maybe that “positive” effect does exist? (Hence my question)
----- update ------
I probably need to add some information to make my question more relevant otherwise I expect most people will say there won’t be any positive effect and I already saw one vote to close my question.
My company is Beijing based and the coronavirus has done a lot of damage to small businesses. I believe people realize that the situation will last for a while and probably feel lucky if they still have a job.
But whether it is coronavirus or not, I am more interested in how the layoff will affect the remaining ones, both positive and negative. I never experience the positive effect myself but maybe others have.
----- update 2 -----
We are a software company, the definition of “work hard” to my boss is simple, deliver fast with less bug.
I deliberately left this out b/c I was afraid my question would be side tracked. The same reason I did not mention the coronavirus at first.
I want the discussion to focus on the psychological impact on the remaining co-workers.
----- update 3 -----
I really appreciate all the answers and comments I got so far. I also expected most of the answers would say no. So I decided to play the devil’s advocate (otherwise there is no need to ask this question in the first place).
So what about Steve Jobs firing the manager of MobileMe on the spot (My purpose to link this story was to let people know it in case they did not. I know the article actually criticized Jobs action.)
What about Satya Nadella's mass layoff in his early years of being CEO of Microsoft.