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Worst ways to get fired

Here are some of the worst ways to be fired.

There are some interesting points to be made here but here is the meat of the criticism:

Strategy 1: It can be extremely taxing to ruin people’s day face to face, so create a little breathing room.

Besides e-mail, companies have been known to fire people by FedEx, registered letter, text message, voice mail and conference call.

Strategy 2: Consider the cattle call. It can build team spirit.

One company herded employees into an auditorium and gave them one of two color-coded information packets. Those with the same color packets sat together. The two groups were then escorted out of the auditorium through different exits. One led back to the office, which meant that group of employees could stay. The other led to the street, which meant the workers should file for unemployment.

Strategy 3: There is no such thing as “too low.” So don’t be afraid to test bottom. One option is to let employees figure things out for themselves.

One company deliberately left a new organizational chart on the photocopy machines. Some employees were left off entirely, and others were moved to new positions.

Strategy 4: Remember, no one is ever too old to play musical chairs.

Some companies in the middle of a merger have asked all employees to resign and reapply for jobs. The goal: to disengage from the old and reinvent the organizational structure — with fewer employees.

Strategy 5: It can be a nice touch when you offer the newly fired a ride home.

It actually can be, unless you’ve organized the corporate equivalent of a funeral procession. One company had cabs lined up around the block before alerting employees on the layoff list of their new jobless status.

Strategy 6: You know what they say: it’s always the quiet ones.So make sure the meek don’t go ballistic.

During a layoff, it’s perfectly reasonable for a company to want to protect its computer files, other property and the remaining employees. But bringing in armed guards, as some companies have done, can be completely dehumanizing. An inconspicuously placed plainclothes security person is far preferable, said Lee Miller, a negotiations expert who used to run HR divisions at three companies.

Obviously most of these companies were misdirected in their ideas of how to do a layoff correctly. There are three easy steps to do a layoff correctly:

  1. Don’t put it off. Whenever layoffs are on the table as the option you are going to be taking, just do it. Don’t wait for business to possibly improve. Layoffs are bad but you can prevent more by making your business much more competitive by doing layoffs earlier and reducing future layoffs.
  2. Take responsibility. Have executive management there to take responsibility in person for the end result. Apologize and offer a fair package to help move on.
  3. Be sensitive. Allow employees to gather belongings and say goodbye to those who are staying. Regroup with the remaining employees and talk to them about the layoffs and concerns they have. It is critical that you don’t shut off the remaining employees from the layoff process. Your future productivity and turnover is dependent on it.

And while layoffs are one of the most heart-wrenching parts of the business, good things can come from them for both the employer and employee.

By Lance Haun

Strategy for The Starr Conspiracy. Former HR pro. Portland guy (Go Blazers!) and WSU alum (Go Cougs!). I get to write about what I want here.

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