One of the Graduate Classes I teach is “Communications.” This is an email from a former student that highlights the need for Companies to realize the ongoing requirement to engage Employees in an honest dialogue about the current condition of the Company and to treat departing Employees with dignity and respect.
“Since we spent a significant amount of class time discussing effective managerial communications with employees, I thought you might be interested in how our company is handling layoffs. It might be good material for your next class.
Obviously the XXXXX business is not very good at this time with all of the layoffs, but the only communications from senior management has been a newsletter with a message from the CEO expressing that the XXXX business is changing, but the company is financially stable.
Today, I received a call from an administrative assistant in the HR Department in Texas asking me to deliver boxes to one of the managers in our office. When I told her we usually don’t supply boxes, she told me the boxes were needed for several employees who were going to be RIFed today. But, she asked me to keep it confidential since they did not know. Apparently, the management in this department was going to tell these people and hand them a box to pack up. She also told me another 35 people were going to be fired next week and sent me a schedule of box deliveries. I feel like the grim reaper.
Can’t wait to see what it does for the productivity in the office. Not to mention the rumor mills.”
1st the credibility of the CEO has been damaged since the Company’s actions belie his words.
2nd, what a way to treat departing Employees! Hand them a box and tell them to leave! Almost as bad as the company that had Employees report to a hotel meeting room and told them their personal stuff was packed in boxes placed along the wall. A management team comprised of cowards and idiots!
3rd, as I tell all my clients, “termination” does not mean Employees are dead. And Employees have a tendency to hang around in the same industry – working for a competitor, looking for an opportunity to level the playing field for being done wrong.
In the WorkQuake(tm), where Employees and the knowledge they have about the Companies they work for can be the deciding factor as to whether a Company survives or thrives, what goes around will come around and wouldn’t it be better if the “come around” was a good thing based on having treated departing Employees as if they were valued members of the “team” Companies are always touting?
Companies had better come to the realization that disrespecting Employees has consequences – often ones they never see but that still have a detrimental impact on the bottom line.