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Letting GO

Letting GO

Overall, employers must guard the decision-making process carefully. "The best way to do this, Swebeck says, "is through careful planning and strategic advice in the very early stages of the program. The paper trail must be protected. Employees must be reminded of their obligations of confidentiality and good faith to the company.

"Even in these early stages of the retrenchment program, employers must always think about fair processes being implemented, open and direct communication to employees or their representatives, transparent decision making, objective planning and, notwithstanding the situation, an equitable outcome for all concerned. Employers who disregard such basic principles do so at their own risk," Swebeck says.

Perhaps Clasquin puts it best. It's all about dignity and respect. "Can you walk out of the organisation, look yourself in the eye and ask: 'Have I done absolutely my best?' I'd rather walk out with my head held high," he says.

And that's a statement that should apply equally well to CIOs and their departing employees.

SIDEBAR: "What Do You Mean I'm Fired?"

Few employees are willing to accept termination quietly. Here's how to prepare.

by Matt Villano

Outplacement experts say people typically display one of five reactions to termination: anticipation, disbelief, escape, euphoria or depression. To help prepare for any one of these responses - and to reduce the likelihood of workplace violence - Anita Web Weaver, a regional vice president for operations at Boston-based outplacement company Drake Beam Morin, says it's important to have answers to the questions you may be asked during the termination conversation. Weaver and her colleagues put together a list of these questions and asked staff psychologists to formulate good and appropriate answers.

Why me? Who made the final decision? This decision was based on a number of factors, including individual job skills, work experience, organisational needs, tenure and performance. These decisions are always difficult, but they were reviewed and approved by management.

What recourse do I have? Employees are always free to talk with a higher level of management. However, because management has already carefully reviewed this decision, it is unlikely that the outcome will change.

Can I continue to work for a while? No. We feel that it is in your best interest and the organisation's best interest that you use your time exploring employment opportunities elsewhere.

Can I be rehired? You are eligible for rehire, but the probability of that is unlikely. This is why you should concentrate your efforts on finding employment outside the company.

Are you sure you're letting me go? Can't I speak to someone else about this? Of course you are free to make an appointment to see my supervisor, but I must tell you that he is fully aware of this decision and supports it 100 per cent.

How could you do this to me after so many years? This was a business decision. It was necessary for business reasons.

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