The Snitch

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Archive for the ‘Severance practices’ Category

Termination with a heart

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Termination does not have to be violent

An economic downturn is fraught with the perils of retrenchment and job losses. With companies downsizing and restructuring, change is inevitable and often detrimental. While retrenchment stirs up fear and anxiety in employees, managers responsible for delivering the notice may also be traumatised. Is there such a thing as a successful termination? Sattar Bawany, head of transition coaching practice with DBM Asia Pacific, believes so and recommends the following process to ensure a more successful termination.

Prepare the materials

If the termination is performance-related, prepare a written documentation. If it is due to job elimination, explain the rationale. You should prepare all severance information in writing – notification letter, salary continuation/severance period, benefits, outplacement counselling and other information.

Prepare the message

Write out the script you will use during the meeting and the information you need to convey to the remaining employees. It will also be good to list some factual reasons for the termination, keeping everything short and straight-forward.

Arrange the next steps

If necessary, schedule additional meetings for the employee with HR and outplacement. Review what should be done with personal belongings, and specify when the employee says goodbye and leaves the organisation.

Prepare yourself emotionally

Remember that the termination is a business decision and not your personal responsibility. Acknowledge your anxiety and be sensitive to your feelings throughout the process. Also, be prepared to talk about your feelings with the HR professionals or outplacement consultants. To avoid rumours and gossip, do not discuss your plans with colleagues and friends.

Anticipate employee reactions

Try practise dealing with anticipated reactions like anger, shock or denial. The preparation will benefit both yourself and the employee as it provides structure to keep you focused during a difficult meeting.

Termination is never easy, but it can be made better. A successful termination is possible if you are well-prepared, says Bawany.

Written by KT

May 13, 2009 at 10:38 am

A lose-lose situation

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We have heard many horror stories about companies ruthlessly chopping off their workforce by the thousands. While we are all so caught up sympathizing with the plight of these displaced workers, it is easy to overlook the impact that this recession has on the employees who are left behind to pick up the pieces from where their ex-colleagues left off.

People assume that the ones who are still with jobs are the luckier of the lot. Of course it is a valid assumption to make. Isn’t it better to still have a steady income that will help you tide through this awful downturn?

Not necessarily so.

As reported in Time, employees who are left behind often have to dealing with guilt that it wasn’t them who was laid off, anxiety that they might be next, exhaustion from the extra work they must take on and even envy of those who get to leave such a depressing environment.

Says a market researcher in New York City who recently watched an entire division of her company be cast off,

“It’s depressing. You walk into the office and it’s quiet, the entire atmosphere is different. When someone gets promoted you want to say, ‘That’s great,’ but then you realize they got the job because the two other people in that group got laid off; this person was cheaper. You start feeling evil. People say at least you have a job, you should be grateful. Well, I’m not sure how happy I am. And then I feel selfish about that.”

It seems to me that the economic climate today has spared no one – regardless of whether there is a job or not. Everybody is just as mentally, emotionally and physically drained as the next employee.

So who’s got it worse, really? Having no job at all? Or having too much work all at once from taking over an ex-colleague’s workload?


Written by nasirah

February 5, 2009 at 10:26 am

How do formalised severance policies pay off?

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Companies with formal written severance practices usually save more on retrenchment packages than those that base such packages on informal written guidelines. Yet only 29% of Singapore HR practitioners surveyed have formal severance policies implemented for their companies even though retrenchment figures are expected to rise during this downturn.

What’s worse is 100% of HR respondents expect no changes to their severance policies in 2009. Michael Lee, a senior consultant for HR consultancy firm Right Management, explains how employers will benefit both financially and in goodwill from having a good formal written severance policy in place.

Watch on to find out.

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Written by Lee Xieli

January 21, 2009 at 11:18 am