Remember Better, the mortgage company that rocketed to fame at the end of 2021 when its CEO mass fired 10% of its workforce over Zoom?
Well, the firm is back in the headlines, and, again, not for a good reason.
Following the firing snafu by CEO Vishal Garg in early December, CFO and interim Kevin Ryan and general counsel Paula Tuffin organized a video meeting with the remaining employees to try and win back their hearts and minds, as well as show empathy.
In this conversation, which was leaked to Business Insider, Tuffin and Ryan offered employees two additional vacation days on 29 and 30 December.
Ryan said: “We want everyone to take some time off. Recharge, refresh for the new year.”
Better messes up
But now Better has changed its mind. It has asked for repayments from at least three employees for “unspecified payroll error”. It is asking some workers to repay thousands of dollars.
But Insider reported that one employee was told by HR that almost 1,000 employees had been overpaid this was they were paid twice for the new company holidays.
Company emails suggest that affected employees could have the money deducted from their next paycheck or spread out across a number of paychecks.
This latest misstep by Better comes as Garg has returned as CEO after taking time off to reflect and reconnect.
At the same time, Better announced a new interim CHRO – former McKinsey senior partner and partner at Activant Capital, Richard Benson-Armer – and the company has committed itself to improving its workplace with training programs and an ethics and compliance committee.
This latest issue around the reset and recharge days is not a good start for the new Better; surely this is not leading with empathy.
What impact will this latest mishap have on Better’s ability to retain its employees amid the ‘Great Resignation’?
UNLEASH has reached out to Better, but is yet to receive a response.