Disclaimer: This is a complete and total work of fiction. Nothing mentioned in the following ever ever EVER happened to me and/or my coworkers AT ALL. In the spring of 2014.
Today I would like to provide some helpful hints to all the companies out there that are downsizing or outsourcing. Since I am quite confident no one from these corporations will ever read this, I will speak bluntly. Please note the following information is for comedic value only and never really happened. I repeat this because although my previous employer did not have enough money to keep me on the payroll, I am certain it has plenty of money to sue me.
- Do not entitle the meeting invitation “OUR way forward” when you are about to tell a person or group of people that there will no longer be an Us.
- While waiting for all participants to join the call, do not whistle. If on an international call, do not ask someone from America to sing a folk song.
- Have an end date. This is important for two reasons: 1) it provides the soon-to-be unemployed with a known availability date for his next job, and 2) it makes it appear as if you gave this downsizing idea more than two seconds thought. As the employees on the call already think you are an idiot, being ill-prepared simply reinforces this belief.
- Know the company’s human resources policies. (This one is especially crucial for the HR representative attending the call.) There will be specific questions about payouts and leave. It is frowned upon if you do not know the answers to the questions, particularly the ones that are readily available to the employee online while on the call, enabling the employees to point out your errors in real time. Dealing with employees who know that they are getting fired while you are not, listening to your obvious incompetence on a call, is an ungood situation that is best avoided.
After the Announcement:
- Do not immediately go on vacation or to ‘training’ as soon as the announcement is made. It only serves to make you look like more of a douche bag than you already do.
- Be aware that as soon as the announcement is made, the employees soon to be out of a job no longer give a rat’s ass about the company and consider you the devil. There is nothing you can do or say to change this.
- Sending employees invitations to meetings that occur after the end date is not recommended. Also strongly advised against is sending employee surveys asking about job satisfaction and emails requesting completion of the employee self-review for the next performance evaluation which will occur after the employee is terminated.
- If your plan (even though we all know there is no plan) is to incentivize the employees by offering a few remaining positions for which they can apply, have a job description immediately available. Ideally, the new job description will be more than eight lines long and grammatically correct.
Announcement to End Date:
- Once the go-forward ‘plan’ has been provided to the employees, a decrease in morale and productivity is to be expected. (Refer to previous statement about rat’s ass.)
- It may be unclear how the employees’ workload will be distributed and how the work will actually get done once the end date arrives. These issues should not be remedied by asking the employees if anyone is willing to continue to work past the end date.
- Likewise, offering overtime pay to soon-to-be-ex-employees in order to get work caught up prior to the end date is discouraged.
- Know each employee’s correct home address. Sending a severance package with a correct address on the envelope but an incorrect address on the document inside reflects poorly on the company. (Refer to previous statement about HR rep incompetence.)
- Once the end date arrives and the employee is now an ex-employee, do not send him a LinkedIn request.
Our Way Forward:
Next week: Walmart