I didn’t get to say goodbye too!

It takes a lot for a company to bring the “right” employee to work. But, it takes more than that to see one go. Ask your friends or ex-colleagues who have seen their teammates, pals, or even confidantes leave, without even getting to say goodbye. The culture of letting the HRs “bring off” things has really made it easy for companies to remove the “personal” touch from processes of saying goodbye to the employees. Partly, it feels nice when things are looked at objectively. But, otherwise, it could well be a way of saying “You are hardly valued in this company anymore”.

There are times when you receive a call, or an urgent one-on-one with your boss or the HR, who tells you that that moment is the last one for you in that office. And, in the next moment, you are supposed to be with the office boy, who sees you to the gate.


How is it done?

Companies act funny when it comes to relieving their employees off their duties – especially when they HAVE to do it. Downsizing or right-sizing are the terms that they normally coin, but then it hardly matter what they say about it – what matters is HOW do they do it. I am not going to talk about those who are laid-off for what they have done to the company, because that is a totally different point.

The last time I remember getting a green face from a colleague was at the end of a day of rigorous sales calls, when the boss “let him go” for reasons unexpressed. Had things been in control of the real “boss” (It is not hard to assume that the decision maker is not the decision announcer in most cases), the approach could have been a little more personal, and worth taking positively.

Companies use stepped processes to handle such days. You are handed-over sheets of the company’s performance, fact sheets from your boss, and a fake assurance on the faces of the HR. It doesn’t really matter how the company behaves when things are going nice and easy. The true color only comes when the tides of time are turbulent. When the human resource are no longer resources. They become mere juice-bags to be sucked till the last drop and thrown out of the window. How can that be”goodbye”! It is equally important to note the true colors of the company and the boss. Knowing both is important. This impression will last, perhaps, for the rest of your life. Remember that the decision announcer in most cases is not the decision maker.

How should it be done?

There is no strict rule of how one needs to “let go off” an employee. The truth is, the way you deal with your soon-going-to-be-an-ex-employee counts a lot. It is only a matter of time that the table could turn against you. As is observed sometimes, the leaving-soon employees become customers (or even worse, competitors). And in most cases, the employees do remember what they encountered on “that” day.

When it comes to choices, the ugliest that feature in the list are: Voice mails, e-mails, phone calls, and blame-game (Not listed in the order of impact). I have seen blame-games on a couple of occasions, and it is not funny when it comes to see your boss make stupid remarks over what you have/could have done. But, the most effective of all is a face-to-face conversation (which a “let go-ed” employee much deserves). One reason is you can trace your “worth” in the eyes of your boss, and another, because the look on the face can tell you if it is a pathetic or an empathetic act.

The prescriptive approach is of valuing what a parting employee has contributed, sharing a face-to-face conversation (discussing about why a strong step has been taken), providing every possible assistance (outplacement services, which do pitch the employee for possible opportunities, since you know the employee more than anybody else), and assuring that the employee is still valued as a person (and is capable of earning respect in the long run).

Are there any hidden lessons for us?

Things work as they are supposed to. But, it tells us exactly what not to do in the next stint or how not to behave. I have always said that the only two outcomes to life are success and experience. These “Not-to” scenarios are a great collection of such experiences that all of us can share and implement, if required.

Questioning oneself is very important. Especially when the clock doesn’t tick at our fancy. Some questions, which I have had to find answers to, are:

–          Why did this happen? Is it a mistake?

–          How could they do this? Could the list be different?

–          Did I commit to my job?

–          Did I ask for it? If yes, how could I have avoided it?

–          Can there be some facts I did not know of?

–          Is there anything I can do/not do from here?

–          How deep it is where I stand?

–          Do I really have it in me to standout, and not to stand out?

A word of caution though: You MUST try to get yourself to answer the last question in a “Yes”.


What counts in the end?

Be truthful to yourself. Take the pride in the association so far, and make sure to make friends along the way. Friends, bosses, and colleagues – those who really miss you will tend to keep touch, no matter what made them part from you. Exchange e-mails, letters, photos, and social and online spaces.

As for you, your commitment towards your profile never goes in vain. You are what you make out of yourself. If you decide to shine, you will. Remember, the same turbulent tides that took you away from the shore, can take you to the shores unexplored. Keep up the good work. Value yourself. If it is about their “right-sizing”, then maybe they did not rightly size your abilities. Success comes in different shapes, sizes, forms, or time; If it did not come this time, you must wait for yours’.


PS: Let me know your comments. There are strong reasons why companies take such a step, but in such a case, some employees get “listed” for no reasons at all. The blog records and reports what the “listed ones” encounter when asked/made to sign off from work.

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