Oct 22, 2009

Firing: The Bad and The Ugly

Image from Microsoft Office Clipart

Firing is one of the sordid tasks that all managers must face and handle sooner or later. I had my own share in the past and these all evoked unpleasant memories. However which way you sugarcoat a termination, it would always be received negatively albeit temporarily. Unfortunately this will become more of the norm within this year rather than an exception because of the global financial crunch. Not a day goes by that I see news about a company reducing 10% of its workforce here or a company laying off off 3,000 employees there.

The Philippines is not spared even with the expanding offshoring / outsourcing opportunities coming in. I read in the news about Accenture Philippines which laid off 500 employees as part of a redundancy program. There was also the news about the "total shutdown" of Intel Philippines' operation affecting almost 2,000 employees.

In this regard, if you are faced with this dire situation, this might help you ease the tension and stress. I found this great post from Slacker Manager about a US News blog article that Alison Green wrote on how to fire someone. I very much agree with point #6 (Know you’re going to be emotionally drained afterwards) and what Slacker Manager added as point #7 (Don’t take it personally).

Firing always makes me "psychologically" sick. This is the reason why I always schedule this kind of meeting on a Friday so I have a chance to "recuperate" over the weekend. Likewise, whatever is said during the meeting, don't take it personally. Be like a Teflon-coated pan to ensure that nothing sticks to you since all the negative words that will be hurled at you are just the consequence of the outburst of emotions.

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