let people go many times B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e
INITIAL POST – People Management Skills – People management is complex and involves a wide range of skills. What do you think are the key skills of an effective manager? Pick 5 key skills and explain why these skills are the most important, in your opinion.
PART A – PLEASE RESPOND TO CLASSMATE DISCUSSION WHETHER YOU AGREE OR NOT & A DETAILED WHY: At the start of the pandemic, most people lost their jobs because businesses could not sustain paying salaries in such circumstances. Companies laid-off workers with the promise of returning to work once the lockdown eases. My friend, who works for a retail store, was unprocedurally laid off as the company cited redundancy. This was first done by phone, and then he was asked to report to the offices so he may get his termination letter. I felt that the method used to terminate him was unfair and lacked any legal backing.
Restructuring a company’s workforce is inevitable, especially during a pandemic. Companies should restructure when they have the resources to cushion them against any social consequences. In my friend’s situation, I feel that the company should have sought their indulgence on the purported redundancy. They would then be required to put forward solutions that would reduce overcapacity. If indeed the laying off was unavoidable, they should have been informed earliest possible and in line with the laid down procedures. The company should also put a framework that supports the laid-off workers in a personal way. This is because some of the workers may suffer from depression and other mental illnesses as a result of the unexpected turn of events. Sucher & Gupta (2018) assert that Nokia took care of its employees during the massive workforce reduction that happened in 2011. The company involved all the affected people in designing the operations of the firm. This is an example that companies should follow to leave a lasting positive impact on their employees.
PART B – PLEASE RESPOND TO CLASSMATE DISCUSSION WHETHER YOU AGREE OR NOT & A DETAILED WHY: Layoff experience:I have had to let people go many times in my previous company. The specific situation that I would like to discuss here pertains to a downsizing of the company because of economic conditions. I had been tasked with informing some of the staff of their layoffs but then when it came time to start with the first employee, my manager took over the discussion (this is the same micro-manager that I discussed in last week’s discussion post). The employee being let go was a relatively low-level employee and English was not their native language so it led to some communication gaps. My manager mistook his demeanor as a challenge to the company and to the manager and started raising his voice and making threats toward the employee rather than giving him time to absorb the information being presented to him. When I tried to back my manager up by stepping in to help clarify while showing the employee some empathy and handle the situation calmly, the manager jumped at me as well and even threatened me by saying something to the effect of “you’ll be next” if I keep resisting him.
How it should have been managed:This was not a case where the employee was surprised by the financials of the company since he was in the accounting department and knew the situation well. Meaning it was not an issue of transparency or candor being helpful in advance of the situation. The real issue here was the attitude of the manager who has very low emotional intelligence and needed to show the employee some empathy for this employee on his way out more than on the way in. This was also a humiliating experience for the employee since it was done in front of several people (my manager, me, the head of accounting). And after this experience, this ex-employee is definitely not going to be spreading good information about our company. In fact, I know for a fact that he and others who were treated similarly by that manager were negative ambassadors of the company.
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