Re: layoff stories

Subject: Re: layoff stories
From: aschiff -at- factset -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 14:45:51 -0400

Whew. I just finished reading my digest. The layoff stories were
educational, to say the least.... especially in these trying times. Thank
you to all who shared stories, insights, etc.

In response to the sentiment re: "cutting dead wood and calling it a
layoff" -- I can see both sides on this issue. On the one hand, it is
unfair to fire someone for performance reasons and call it a layoff. Not
unfair for the person being terminated (they actually make out better
vis-a-vis collecting unemployment and listing 'reason for dismissal' on
future job applications).... rather, unfair because people who ARE
performing well and being laid-off may feel (incorrectly) lumped together
with the dead wood.

On the other hand, I do sympathize with managers who -- in these trying
times -- find themselves under sudden pressure to eliminate dead wood.
Whereas terminating someone in years past met with long, drawn-out
processes and giving employees second, third, & fourth chances (for fear of
being sued), management in many cases is now saying "find the dead wood and
cut it off." Hence the seeming correlation between cost-cutting and
faster-than-usual identification of performance problems.

As for the dead wood itself, I have no sympathy. A few bad apples across an
organization can ruin morale and cause management untold headaches. The
first time I terminated someone for performance reasons I agonized over it
for weeks. Next time -- if it comes to that -- will be a lot easier.

Abby Schiff
FactSet Research Systems

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