I haven’t had the chance to fire anyone lately here at Charlie but I was talking to my mom about the worst ways to get fired. I looked it up on the internet and there are some horrible ways to get “let go,” even I wouldn’t terminate people like this!
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. (I would be scared of the Fed Ex guy for months afterward!)
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.
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. (I would be putting in my notice if I didn’t see my name on the new list.)
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. (I’ve heard of this before.)
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. (I hope they paid the cabs.)
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. (Can you imagine running into the security person in the lunch room? How do they explain what they are doing there?)
I hope no one comes across any of these situations soon but keep your eyes open if you recieve a Fed Ex when you weren’t expecting one!