Firing? 5 things you should know!

In every HR professional’s life there comes a moment where he has to fire someone. Let the guilt seep in and remain in the heart for a long time. Whereas, on the other hand firing is a part and parcel of the profession and one has to take it like that, like conducting performance appraisals or processing payroll or publishing MIS. Right?

Wrong. Firing comes around to be the toughest task and no matter how many times has one done, the next time always hurts. For being the one to relay the bad news, to wear those horns of demon and being a non-human in the whole process.

Like it or not, firing comes under HR’s periphery and we have to do it. So how to extenuate the damage and to control the heat of that moment? How to do it wisely and with calmness? Here’s how:

  1. Know the reasons well of why you are taking this action-the reason to fire should be crystal clear to the personnel involved in this. Lot of times the senior management or delivery heads or project heads take the decisions and HR is puny memo re-layer which makes it a little messy when it actually happens. Knowing the background and the real reason of firing will make your ground strong and will let you handle the situation neatly.
  2. Know the employee’s background well, of that moment especially. You never know the employee whom you are going to fire must be having a tough time already at personal end or maybe it’s her daughter’s b’day or he just battled with a grave situation at family’s end like his father’s illness or so. You just never know if and when the employee is already down in dumps or sprightly all the more, at that point. Be considerate and do a thorough check, if need be postpone the firing for a day or two or plan it differently. It will certainly make it less burdening for you and a little governable for the employee.
  3. Keep your offerings ready. Many Companies offer a salary of the stipulated notice period to the employee, as per the offer conditions mentioned in the offer letter, and asks her to not report to the office with immediate effect. There are Companies who ask employee to write down a resignation letter in which case he is not issued a termination letter so that his career is not tarnished and he will be able to land up a job further. So whatever you decide, according to your Company’s policy and legal alignment, keep all the documents and offers ready.
  4. Be ready for handling the tumultuous situation at employee’s end.Of course, being asked to resign or being terminated is not easy for anyone. Especially, when one doesn’t see it coming. It acts like a blow and the employee with low emotional intelligence would possibly over react to the situation. Be prepared for that and it would be not wrong to say, be well armed! Have your team ready for taking actions based on the situation. There are employees who are problem makers,they would want to damage the atmosphere while leaving the premises.
  5. Think about outplacement. Give that option to the employee in coordination with your hiring team. This will not only make the employee feel hopeful but he/she may actually land up in a job within a decent time.

What are your strategies to handle firing? What are your take aways from your experience of firing exercise?

 

Your Potential, Assess It & En-Cash It !

Mostly by this time of the year Performance Appraisals are done in all organizations, especially IT sector. As an HR professional I’ve seen flurry of resignations flowing in post-appraisals. The moment the results are out, employees, disgruntled employees, exercise their option B- resigning from their current posts. Across the world, employees have the same tendency : To wait and see the result of appraisals and then decide whether to quit or stay another year.

To actually resign and move ahead is not the solution to the dissatisfaction caused by the appraisal. I think one should have more scientific approach towards evaluating one’s performance with an honest heart. I hear employees stating that “I have worked laboriously round the clock throughout the year”. “I’m always ready to stay back late and complete the given tasks”. “I never said no to any task allotted to me” and the likes. Whereas I would listen to these arguments empathetically, I would also want to ask them if they really really think that performance appraisals should be done (only) on these qualities of an employee?

If in an organization, appraisals  are conducted systematically, I’m sure there will be criteria clearly defining the need of the employee to state his/her experience, skills and knowledge put to right use in the year gone by. Late nights, always ready to work, come on weekends and holidays are like icing on the cake. What about the base efficiency that an employee needs to showcase, the perquisites that an employee needs to posses to hold the job and excel at it?

Before one argues or asks for re-evaluating one’s appraisal case, I think one should ask below questions to oneself and answer them honestly :

-Do I have the basic qualification to fulfil the job’s requirement?

-Did I work on the improvement areas that were explained to me in my last appraisal and in the interim ?

-Will I rate myself 5/5 on communication, team and time management skills that are required at workplace?

I would urge the workforce to assess themselves before they set out to get assessed by the reporting authorities. Once there is clarity about oneself, one’s abilities and capabilities, there would be less dissatisfaction and more positivism towards improvising oneself. That said, not all employees who are unhappy with the appraisals done for them are inadequate in their performance. There certainly are genuine cases and I’m sure Organizations cater to them in required manner.

Second Innings @ Ex-Employer? What should be your strategy?

Second Innings! Not an unfamiliar tag these days in corporate world. There are many professionals who tend to go back to their previous employer and start their second innings. Sometimes, even a third one! Why they leave is a separate story in itself but when they decide to rejoin, that’s when some things become very important and should be paid attention to. It certainly feels nice to re-join an organization where one worked earlier and enjoyed the stint. I’m saying enjoyed, since that should be the major deciding point where in one decides to come back to the same organization, unless of course there is a dire need to without being mentally prepared!

So while you may bask in the glory of rejoining your old employer and feel at home, once again, there are few things you should keep a tab on and always bear in your mind to have a successful journey the second time as well!

1. Never show-off. That you’ve been here, so you know anything and everything about the organization. You must be right that you know lot of things, but since you left there were others who took over and there sure are changes taken place, howsoever tiny those are. Never keep bragging about your times in the organization, you may mention some things here and there, aptly fitting the conversation but the tone and intention should not be to show-off!

2. Respect the changes. Don’t say it was better earlier or don’t give an expression as if the changes are good for nothing. People who made the changes, certainly have some reasons behind it, try and understand them. Soak the new environment, be happy that you are back to your  organization and the only purpose you should carry is to take it to the next level, not go back to where it was!

3. Keep a collaborative approach. Never try to show an one-upmanship just because you’ve been there earlier and you are a know-all. You might be wrong in assuming that you are well aware of all things taking place under the roof, there might be things which exist now that you are not aware of. After all processes change, people change and the relationships change too!

4. Be ready to unlearn and re-learn. Don’t think that you need nothing to learn in the organization like policies, processes etc. Show the readiness to unlearn and relearn. This will show a positive side of yours and people will be more than welcoming to have you in their team. Collaborative approach always wins hearts and makes it easy for everyone to gel well and work together.

5. Be humble. Don’t use big names and say they know you so well that it will be easy for you to get through the maze of processes. Respect processes. It is about respecting your organization. Let those big names also respect your humbleness!

So get set to re-join your ex-employer. Have a fruitful and lovely stay, yet again! Good Luck!

Life Cycle…

What happens when you become the core member of the team and then you decide to quit. For good and because of your personal constraints. What all happens to your role, your team, the seniors and the people you work with closely.


In my view, every team member is an important element in the team. The percentage of productivity will surely vary but then you can’t right away reject the idea of any particular team member to be unproductive. So, when a really productive team is quitting the company the series of happenings taking place are as follows:

The quest to find the replacement,and the exact one,starts. You find that you are running out of time and its becoming so crucial to find the replacement soon.

The knowledge transfer strategies are made up and a schedule is drawn to make sure that there is nothing left untouched in the entire transaction.

There are rumours spread of something really going wrong in the company since a very productive and very-close-to-the-top-notches in the company is leaving.

People are quiet sad about the employee who is pretty close to almost every employee is leaving.Its going to leave a void for a while.

In the meanwhile the search is almost complete and the replacement accepts the offer. Joins and is put with the resigned employee for transition.

There are high expectation set for the new employee as to match to the ones which the resigned employee has performed till now.

Slowly but steadily the new employee also becomes the part of the team and the company. Things start falling in place and the resigned employee is slowly taken out of important meetings,discussions an decisions.

Finally the day comes when the resigned employee practically is our of the company. Bye-byes and send offs. “will miss you” messages. Post last working day-lot of calls and emails and smses from the team members and the other employees.

Slowly it all starts fading. Vanishing and finally put only in the memories.

So, that’s what is called as the life cycle of an employee in an organisation-just like we have a product life cycle !

Everything has an end and all what ends has a new beginning. The employee goes to another company and starts the ‘infant stage’ of the life cycle !