Layoffs are never pleasant, but there are some layoff procedures that just makes you feel even worst. I’ve heard of a few recently that caught my attention as either unique, disastrous, or both. Here they are and hopefully business owners can read this and understand how these layoffs not only burn bridges, they actually affect productivity for the people that stay on board.
- The One by One – This is a crazy method which will sure kill your employee’s moral. Some companies will fire one person each hour for that day, one by one, until they are done with the layoffs. You might be saying good bye to your long term friend and showing sympathy one hour and be booted yourself the next.
- The Yes and No Rooms – During the dot com bust, floors of buildings were being laid off. One of the least humane ways of layoffs are when everyone would be asked to go to two rooms, where they would wait to see whether they were the room that stays or the one that needs to leave.
- My Keys Were Changed – Some companies would just change the security code to prevent you from even enter the building when you get to the office in the morning. I mean, come on. Can’t you even save me some gas by telling me the day before?
- Just Quit Already – Some supervisors don’t have the guts to tell people that they are being laid off and instead do everything they can to get you to quit.
- Make Them Fight for It – I didn’t think this was done in reality but my friend told me that her employer asked two people to go into the room and told them that one person is going to be let go and for the two to give reasons why he/she should be the one staying. I sincerely wish that those people who do this end up losing all the good employees.
- Giving You the Chicken – Here’s some historic and culture sharing. Back in the old days when many people work for small businesses in Hong Kong, the owner would always treat all the employees for dinner during Chinese New Years. It is said that during the meal, the boss giving you the chicken leg means that you are fired. (I heard this from a TV show long ago and I can’t verify it now, but I remember believing the story at the time)
- The Only Kind That is Acceptable – Every employee should be told via a company get together in exactly what’s happening and each supervisor should have heart-to-heart talks with the employees separately and let them know honestly why they are being let go. If I spent 40+ hours working for you, I deserve to at least get an explanation.
It’s already bad that we are being laid off. Please don’t upset us even more by doing it the wrong way.