Monday, August 01, 2005


This post is to express my feelings about this unique word called "Termination". I just got to know that, one of my colleague (or should i be saying ex-colleague) got terminated, yes "TERMINATED" or "LAID OFF" from my company, I still don't know/have the offical reason for his/her termination of his/her duties. I had only heard of people getting 'Terminated / Laid Off/ getting Pink slips" in US of A during the burst of the dot(.) com bubble or when the MNC's started outsoucring the jobs for cost cutting, but today for the first time i have experienced it in flesh and blood.

The person who has been terminated feels the humiliation, because he/she has been singled out of the rest. Termination of a co-worker really impacts on the style of working on all the remaining, u feel insecure and the moral among the workers takes a low. Also the mode or method adopted by the company to Terminate an individual or the set of people in a Department conveys a lot meaning to the rest about the company.

Has anyone experienced 'Termination' of self/friend/co-worker/colleague anytime in your professional life and if so how do u feel about it?


Anonymous said...

Hey Vivek, I do completely agree with your views. Especially the one where you have commented on the morale of the co-workers of this particular person who has been laid off.... without proper justice to that person....

Anonymous said...

I would only like to say one thing, I got an offer from another company in technopark i was there just for a few days. But one thing i remember that gave me atleast some confidence to work for that compay was the HR said to me "Our MD completely backs us and provides all the support we need and let me assure u that he has not fired a single person from this company yet" .


The company employs more than 30 ppl

Santosh Subrahmanya said...

Also I would like to add to my above comment by saying that " A company exists in order to empower its employees, and not merely for the sake of making profits. And this would be the "Social Responsibility" of the company towards its environment, which entails the company to exist and meet its goals(of just earning profits in the present day scenario which is heart breaking...on people especially who have been terminated). At the end of it all, a successfull company is one which believes that "Human Resources" are its most important resource and tries to make the lives of its employees better. This in turn would be beneficial to the company itself because "Happy workers are the most productive workers....". And any company which does not believe in the fact that its human resources is the most important of all its resouces, then I am afraid the company is on its way to the drain.....

Santosh Subrahmanya said...

This comment is for all those who would be the future managers in whatever stream of life they are in....This one comment keeps ringing within me all the time....Because one day I hope to be in the position of a manager managing a team of people....And this is what I would be doing....

Always remember the first and the foremost principle of management. Other principles just follow this.... "Do unto to others, what you would like others do unto you".

Kuldeep Singh said...

Yes , I do agree with what you have said. It really makes every body uncomfortable and have affect on moral also. We can only imagine what the termination is ...but can't feel it. Its really sad. From my observations I had seen terminaitions ...but not at all in maket like this...where a guy can be given more time to get comfortable with tech to be worked on (if performance is the reason behind) or otherwise putting the guy into different role till he becomes suitable. I hope that the guy will grab another good opportunity soon.

Vivek Kondur said...

I thank all of u for your opinions and comments.

I agree with u (Kuldeep), a person has to be given sufficient time, resource and the right environment to prove himself/herself before taking this path.

And also if you are hiring a person for the right reasons and have an induction programme, i feel we should also know the reason for his termination and have a farewell programme (in case of those who quit formally).

Leo Fernandez said...

Yes I agree with you vivek

Anonymous said...

Yes,I do agree with what all you people quoted.Its really frustrating.
If they behave like this, how we can
Contribute 2 this Comp?Most of the time we wl be thinking who will be the next?

preeti said...

Hey viv,
I had been in ur shoes a few months ago and I can really feel what must be running through your head. All principals and humanity aside, I think it is just left to realise that it's a cruel world out there. One must remember that is is we who ultimately come up with these terms of termination and the best means of handling it. But the competition out there is so severe that people are blinded by the rush of wanting to win rather than winning with dignity and because of that streak they do things to ensure that they survive the battle. Charle's Darwin's theory got one thing right. It is the 'survival of the fittest' from the day u open ur eyes to the new world, till u choose to lie down back again. When we do fall behind in that race of ours, we should concentrate on surviving while helping others survive as well. After all, isn't that what makes us different from people who claim to be human.... and for ur friend out there, there's just one thing I would like to say, 'Pull up ur sock, and get back in the game, coz noone is gonna wait for u to catch up..'

Vivek Kondur said...

Hey Preeti!

Thanks for dropping by, i get what you are saying. Don't u think we have had the best experience in our professional carrers and i guess that has made most of us stand up and speak for the truth. I agree with what u had to say to him "'Pull up ur sock, and get back in the game, coz noone is gonna wait for u to catch up.."

Well as for as Charles Darwin's theory is concerned that "Survival of the fittest" it doesn't hold good all the time in this present era.

Muhammed Yaseen said...

There is a fair way to do stratigic move. In the case of employee employer relationship there are two things that has to be clear.

One - Employers expectation of employee.

Two - Employees expectation from employer.

The most important thing is getting this right and making it clear to both the parties involved. Without such a platform fareness is just a Shadow Of Light.

Vivek Kondur said...

Welcome to the world of blogging!, when do i get to read the frist posting on yours.

Good thought Yaseen!

compassioNAT said...

Hi Viv,

Interesting topic. It's never nice when anyone gets 'the boot'. From the company's point of view, it is more expensive for an unproductive worker to remain in office than it is for the management to lay him off. Frankly speaking, i've seen individuals who got laid off and moved on to better jobs. These people may not even be in the right jobs to begin with.

It all boils down to how the management fires the person...were they tactful? did they give a valid reason? did it come as a surprise? is there a compensation plan? most of the time, if firing is done tactfully, the person who gets laid off can leave without bad blood.

For a managment to keep an unproductive worker because they do not want to go through the firing process is equally destructive for the individual as well as the company. It's a waste of time and money.

Getting fired does not always have to be an unpleasant thing.

(On the same note, if you're keen to pursue this topic, try reading Winning by Jack Welch.)


Vivek Kondur said...

Hey Nat!

I guess u have summed up everything well. Yes i did get the reasons for the termination of his service. The main reason being unproductive and not performing the tasks as per the position he held.

I will surely read "Winning by Jack Welch" sometime.

Pallavi said...

Even though this concept is getting old it still hurts and is humiliating.. :(

Vivek Kondur said...

Hey Pallavi!

How was your weekend trip? I hope u have enjoyed it and looking forward for your travel-log and the snaps.

As u mentioned, getting pick slips is not new to anyone in the IT sector, but when u terminate an individual there should be some kind of process for the same.

Vasu the terrible said...

hey kondur,

long time since the trek up mullaingiri.. :)

neway I have first hand experience getting laid off in canada. Was told to leave after entering the office since I was laid off... handed over all charges immediately and left the building...

It was wierd, but life moves on..

Vivek Kondur said...

Hey Vasu!

Wassup? yes after mullaingiri we had just been to 2 more places and after that never had a chance to go any place.

May be that first hand experience of yours was the turning point in your life and probably thats made u what u are today an "Entrepreneur".

Will catch u some time.

Anonymous said...

Being an Entrepreneur requires maturity and the ability to see the equation from both sides.

Most employers, especially start-ups, rely on their team. Human resources and financial resources must always be balanced to build a successful company. Also, if each of the commentors are such experts, perhaps they should become employers. If only it were that easy. It takes maturity, experience, skill, a successful track record and luck to be an employer or an entrepreneur.

With that said, when someone is fired, it is key for the remaining team members to look at the situation from all angles. Without having real insight into a firing, most of the assertions made in the prior comments are probably baseless and without fact.

If one stops a moment to think before reacting emotionally, the fear, uncertainty and doubt will be dispelled and replaced with a deep appreciation and understanding for the complexity of such a decision.

As an HR Professional working in India for a large MNC, I can tell you that a termination or firing is taken very seriously and only made after grave consideration. From the outside, co-workers may not be aware of the reasons and so the firing may come as a surprise. In fact, in almost all cases the co-workers should not be made aware of the reasons as to why an individual was terminated because that is unfair to the individual that was fired who may prefer to keep the matter private and discrete.

So, what are the possible reasons for terminating someone? Reasons for termination can be far ranging
and can include - wrongful conduct, employee misrepresentation of skills/capabilities, inability to
perform the job to a satisfactory level, inability to take direction from superiors, inability to work
in a team environment, etc. etc. etc.

You get the point.

So, does it make sense for a company to completely back every employee and to never fire? A company that does that will definitely go down the drain. Any basic HR textbook can tell you that. Hiring and Firing is an important ongoing activity for any company. It's what enables a company to build the best teams, the best products, win the best customers and build the best culture.

Most companies terminate for very good reasons and often in the best interest of the team, the company
and their respective success. Most companies also try to salvage a problem employee by coaching and
mentoring the employee, often informally over an extended period of time, and then formally through
employee reviews, warnings, probation, and disciplinary actions (which can include termination, reduction in pay, re-assignment, etc.)

It is always easy to think the grass is greener elsewhere. But it rarely is. All companies at the end of the day need to protect the interest of the team and the company. After all, profits enables
payroll. It is a simple quation. Without profits, there are no jobs. Companies fail and then
employees get fired. So often, taking small corrective decisions to let unproductive problem employees go is a common and healthy business practice and is often the best decision for the former employee who can move on to a rewarding career at a company better suited for his or her talents.

Also, it is easy to say that one should to "Do unto to others, what you would like others do unto you" as a prior comment suggested. From the company's perspective, the company pays an employee to do a job and provides the employee ample opportunity to demonstrate that he or she can perform in the job for which the employee was hired and with the skills that the employee represented during the interview.
They expect the employee to do the job and be successful in the job. The company does what it can to
help the employee succeed by providing managerial guidance. In some cases, this guidance even comes from MNC Clients that have hired an Indian company. For example, the company I work for not only operates in India, but also outsources to Indian BPOs whose employees often take direction from teams in other countries like the UK. With that said, it is key to realize that the employee must "Do unto the company, what you would like the company to do unto you." Meaning, the employee has a responsibility to perform their job at a satisfactory level of performance, just as the company has the
responsibility to pay the employee and provide managerial guidance.

Another comment expressed disappoint regarding the company culture. Well, culture is a function of the team and the team's passion, committment and enthusiasm. Passion is contagious. Strong leaders can inspire employees, but employees are often subjected to an ego driven environment (e.g. Apple, Oracle, etc). The most successful companies are those where employees take initiative to improve culture, business process,
and products. So, if an employee wants a happy company culture, then the employee must actively
contribute energy to creating that culture. To paraphrase JFK, don't ask what your 'company' can do for you, ask what you can do for your 'company'!

The other unfortunate circumstance of being an employer and being a human resources manager is the fact that employees, like customers are quick to point out failures and inadequecies, but rarely praises a company for the things it does right. Furthermore, it is sad, when employees simply point out problems without identifying solutions. Either this is a result of laziness and apathy, or ego & being self-centered. True leaders, true entrepreneurs volunteer themselves to solve the problems. It is easier to find fault in others than in yourself. It is easier to look outside than within. It is easier to assume the worst than to hope for the best.

I hope the originator of this blog and the individuals that posted comments to this blog can look within and re-examine themselves, their behaviours, and review their previous commments with an open mind. Perhaps some of you will change, otherwise will remain the same, and some will go further down the wrong path. I wish you luck whichever path you choose. That's the least an employer can do.

Cocaine Jesus said...

i have been 'terminated' on several occasions now and although, with time and experience, you grow another skin, a thicker skin, i still resent the way the corporate world makes lies of all the moral truths we learn as children.
be good to fellow humans.
be loving and kind.
be generous to those less well of than you.
re-written by the working world and the empire of commerce as 'fuck everything except the yankee dollar.
we are so much more important than that and yet we still subject to the same callous whims.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! Cocaine Jesus sounds like a wacko terrorist. Get a life or go join Green Peace and make the world a better place... what a loser.

Vivek Kondur said...

Hey CJ,

I am sorry for u, i hope it doesn't happen again.

Vivek Kondur said...

@Anonymous: Thanks for dropping by and giving us your open-minded philosophy.

Next time u plan to leave your comments on my blog please ensure u have a blogger account on you.