General discussion


Sacking an I.T guy

By gflyhalf ·
What is the best way to lay off an I.T guy? I've heard of a guy who was given a notice and within the same day,he had corrupted the database,deleted crucial files and took off within 30mins. Cases are also told of guys who install viruses that are triggered off when they dont log in within a specific period of time....

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Respect, respect, respect

by chas_2 In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

I have not been in a management position in 21 years of working with I-T. But having been a "worker bee", I can tell you what would help.

Respect - never p*ss off your talent - never. If you are a manager and you need to let someone go because work is slim or the budget isn't there, you absolutely MUST do it with respect for your I-T person.

1) Be sure you offer something to the person you're letting go. If this is someone that's been in your service for a period of years, your company should be able to provide a reasonable severance package. If you don't have the budget for it, GET IT. It can be much more costly if your soon-to-be former employee decides to get even, and you have to clean up your internal systems.

2) Be sure to thank the invidividual for his/her service. A lot of managers think that I-T people are themselves machines, and have no feelings. Not so. Reassure them that they're being laid off because of problems with the company rather than with them. If you're able to go a step further, you can also mention some of the employee's good points - things you personally appreciated.

3) Be prepared to give a good reference. This person has served you and trusted your company. He/she should be able to trust that you're not going to backstab him/her when he inquires about other positions with other companies (maybe even one of your competitors). You may be tempted to sabotage such an opportunity - DON'T. What goes around comes around, and in many cases it is illegal to badmouth someone (at least here in Texas it is; you can only say that you would not necessarily re-hire such a person).

4) If your company is able to provide other resources to assist the employee about to leave, be sure to tell him/her about them. One place I worked set up outplacement assistance which provided me with workshops including videotaped interview rehearsals. Very helpful.

Naturally, how all this is received is going to depend on your track record with the employee you're laying off. If you were a cad or a jacka** with the employee, any of the above may come off sounding insincere. In such cases, it would probably be best to just try to be businesslike - and, if you can manage it in a heartfelt way, to apologize.

Whatever you do, though, don't be cruel, manipulative, or dishonest. If the employee you're letting go decides to go over your head - whether it's to a higher-up manager he/she may happen to know, or to a regulatory agency or legal advisor, the whole thing could backfire on you.

And who knows when you may be joining the person you're terminating on the unemployment line?

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Escort them out!

by michael.wolfstone In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

In my 20 or so years of IT management, the safest bet, whether someone quits, is laid off or is terminated, and regardless of notice given, have a trusted employee supervise the person leaving while clearing out their desk and escort them to the door immediately. Be sure to disable their login and remote access.

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A trusted employee

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Escort them out!

The guy you are getting rid of might have thought he was trusted. The guy you trusted to get rid him might be saying hey !!!!

You should at least have the bottle to do it yourself, otherwise you aren't worth much, no matter how valid your reasons.

In my far from humble opinion anyway.

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Laying off IT Pro

by noly_big_boy In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

If I myself would be terminated with or without due process, personally I would not put my carrer at risk. I had earned the trust of the company for 6 six years and I have a complete control of their data. But what is data compared to what is there ahead of me.

Although it depends on the IT guy but I think the company should prepare before laying off somebody in IT. They should realize the risk involve before closing doors to somebody exposed to corporate data. One good step is to never entrust everything to one guy. Another guy or the IT manager should also know the work that he has delegated to his team. Make sure that everything has been documented and always keep a backup of sensitive data in a vault.

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Take no risks

by Chaz Chance# In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

A company I once contracted for disposed of staff quite brutally.

The first one senior manager new of his "decision to spend more time with his family" was when he thought he saw someone breaking into his company car. When he attempted to ring work to tell them he was going to be late because the car had been stolen, his mobile didn't work. After making the call fronm a land-line, he got a taxi.

Arriving at work he found that his RFID card wouldn't get him through the doors. Going to the front desk, security were called and he was marched into an office, searched and all company property removed from his person whilst he waited for a HR person to come.

The HR person gave him a letter with his termination information, plus a written reminder of the "corporate confidentiality" agreement he had signed. He was told not to contact any of his former colleagues.

Then he was escorted from the building.

He had committed no crime, the company was just downsizing.

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brutal or expected.,,

by pongo06 In reply to Take no risks

A lot of people are touching on the idea of firings being brutal and I think we all understand that it affects us emotionally. IT pros, and really any employees, need to keep their goals in their front pocket and their hearts in their shoes.

As an employee, I don't mind the firm I work for considering me as a liability. I expect to be escorted out. I expect to be treated like someone who has breached corporate security. Heck, I expect to arrive at work with the technological portions of my workspace removed(if possible).

Know your employer, understand your goals and be proactive.

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Take two for safety . . .

by claudiocurcio In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

How to hire/fire people are processes that must be carefully designed, especially for IT and critical mission Departments. If this processes are in place, the lay off should happend smoothly.

Adopt strong IT organization standards and procedure to define who should do what when.

Double control is a must.

Have a backup & recovery plan up to date, externally audited by prestigious IT Consultants firm.

Know what happens looking yourself.

And at last...take two people for each critical area for safety.

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Short and Sweet

by Jcritch In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

If indeed this is a layoff, most IT people have a good idea something may happen sometime soon. I work with Human Resources to approve a severance package if available, if so I will lay off the individual on a Monday and at least try to pay him/her through the week. I have also informed a individual that starting today, their access has been restricted and will serve as a consultant until day of termination. Basically the only system he can use is placed on a VLAN with no communication to live systems. Allows them to pound career builder, monster and other employment sites. Shows compassion to those left behind and eliminates the emotional impact a lay off could have on everyone involved. I also tell them we will monitor all activity.

I was ?eliminated? once, and given the option to leave now or stay. I decided to stay and make the most of my time there. I was able to use the nice the high speed internet ( No such thing as Cable or DSL back then), obtain some coaching from peers and supervisors, and most of all obtain letters of recommendation from executives. If I was asked to leave immediately, and the lay off was due to financial reasons, I would ask for letters of recommendation before I left. Heck I even had a few composed and asked the executives signed them. No one can extol your abilities better then yourself.

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Had it happen to a customer of ours

by don In reply to Sacking an I.T guy

A customer of ours needed our help to clean things up after an employee who was fired kept getting into the system and screwing with it. Now, this company was stupid to begin with: all they had was a cell phone number and SS number for this guy, no actual address.

We had to change the root password of their Unix box several times before we cleaned up and reset passwords for all accounts on it. We suggested the reset the first time, but they did not want to. They lost sales history data and some other info.

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by Ed Woychowsky In reply to Had it happen to a custom ...

I worked at a company that was in the process of mass layoffs, their approach was to notify the people six or eight weeks beforehand dropping a little hint that that the decision wasn?t final. Basically this was a thinly veiled attempt to get as much work as possible out of the condemned before execution. What they didn?t count on was human nature, that people have a tendency to be somewhat distracted on death row.

Sure enough the inevitable happened, an operator loaded a test tape on the production billing system. Now this was a company with at least 26 billing systems and wouldn?t you know it, it was the billing system for the Federal government. This was kind of a hard thing to hide once the bills arrived at their destinations.

The suits that had orchestrated this entire fiasco decided that the proper course of action was to sue the operator for damages. The operator?s lawyer countersued on the basis that the operator was under undo stress do to the layoff and that the suits were persecuting the operator. The trial took a few weeks and left the operator twenty million or so better off and the suits without a job.

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