IT Employment

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Dismissal methods

I would like to strongly speak against the practice of having a security guard show up with a box when a person is being dismissed. Many times the person didn't do anything wrong, their job is being eliminated for finances or it is just going away.

1) The practice is ineffective. If the person wanted to torch the place, they could do it anyway
2) The practice is humiliating. If you are telling a person that you are happy with them and their work and they can go away with their head heldhigh and you march them out the door via security guard aren't you in a sense arresting them? Shouldn't they have the freedom to say goodbye to their coworkers and friends? Shouldn't they have the opportunity to save face?

Or is fear going to cause corporate culture to behave like Nazi's

I promise - most of the people let go are decent hard working people. If someone is going to destroy your company, they'll do it anyway.

At least people, let's allow someone to be human.
Think about how you would feel if it happened to you. If you are capable of doing so.

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I've had to lay people off

by James R Linn In reply to Dismissal methods

And it never occured to me to have security present.

I've always had our HR person there, to explain the documents they have to sign, and the choices they have to make.

You can't leave someone unescorted after you've dismissed them, but that doesn't mean it has to be a security guard. The person delivering the message should be with the person until they leave the premises, unless HR takes over the task.

I have to say that laying someone off is not an easy experience for most managerseither. It was pretty gut wrenching for me.


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Not everyone is "rational"

by TheChas In reply to Dismissal methods

Companies have adopted these policies as a line of "defense".

The pre-notification of a layoff has become a thing of the past.
Blame insurance companies, and litigation.

The higher up an employee is in the firm, the more apt this is to happen.

The firm that last layed me off, often calls employees on Sunday night to tell them NOT to come in on Monday.

Things that have happened: (as recalled from news reports)

Disabled company network.
Formatted office or company hard drives.
Stolen company property.
Pirate company "intelectual" property.
Go to lunch, and come back with a gun.
Trash the office.

Unfortunatly, not everyone handles the situation as intelegent adults. Many people fly off the handle, and do things to "hurt" the company.

At least, you were allowed to remove your personal effects yourself. Many firms now just escort you to the door, and ship what they decide are your personal effects to you, freight collect!


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by PENGUINSRULE In reply to Dismissal methods

I realize more and more that not everybody is like me.. Thanks so much for your input.
Sometimes it never occurs to me why someone would do some of the things you describe. I can't see what benefit it would be for a person to conduct themselves in that manner. So, the safeguards are a necessary evil.

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Question of balance

by James R Linn In reply to thanks

To a certain extent people modify their behaviour based on their environment.

There are some dogs which are naturally agressive and are "biters". There are other dogs which based on the training they receive, whether they are beaten etc., will perhaps bite, perhaps not.

Humans are far more complicated, but if you treat everyone badly, you risk that you may push someone at the border over the edge into bad behaviour. On the other hand if you show nothing but total trust you will be burnedby the bad behaviour of a few.

So you have to balance your need to be safe with your need to be humane.

Trust me -if you are working in a company which abuses its employees and you are laid off or fired, it may not seem like it at the time, but it could be the best thing to happen to you. It happened to me many years ago.


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Other side of the coin

by timwalsh In reply to Dismissal methods

Unfortunately, policies like this are too often born from previous bad experience.

There are many more ways for a disgruntled employee to hurt a company than "torching the place."

If the employee to be let go (fired) is in a position of responsibility and special trust (say, a network administrator), how much time would this person need to create considerable havoc, if he thought he was being fired unfairly (or just before payday with the mortgage, the car payment, and the boat payment all due).

Unfortunately, a company has no way of knowing how a given employee will react to such a situation. It behooves them to act prudently to provide for the safety of employees who aren't being fired and also for the contunued efficient operation of the company.

A current add in Network Computing magazine shows a rather large, pissed-off looking individual with the by-line "My goal is to get you back for firing me. My goal is to exploit your overtaxed IT department. My goal is to take you down." If you were in charge, would you want a person with this attitude wandering around saying good-bye to friends (and doing who knows what else)? Would you know a fired employee had this attitude before it was too late?

Could this dismissal have been accomplished a little less harshly (say by a friendly HR type)? Possibly so.

Would this friendly HR person be savvy enough to prevent a network administrator from wiping everyones user account? or preventing a contracts person from sending competition- sensitive data to competitors while ostensibly cleaning out personal email? or you name it? Probably not without special training.

Did the company do what it felt was in its best interest and the best inerest of the employees left behind? I'm sure they would say so.

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