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How Not To Use Technology to Announce a RIF

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British employer Everything Everywhere has provided employers on both sides of the Atlantic with a great public service: how not to announce a reduction-in-force.

It seems the mobile phone company, which was created by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile, had to advise its 16,000 employees whether or not their jobs were safe following the merger.  It hit upon a novel plan.  The company arranged for mass meetings of employees at locations across England.  At those meetings, the employees received a color-coded messages on their cell phones: those who saw a red light were told they were “at risk”. Other staff saw the light go yellow, which meant they must re-apply for their existing job. A blue light indicated their job had been “mapped” into the new business plan and were being kept on. A green light showed the creation of a limited number of new roles.

The presentations were made in public in front of between 30-60 colleagues. Some employees are thought to have had no idea that their jobs were at risk before the humiliating public meeting. One employee said: “Some of the people got up and walked straight out of the room, others sat there crying, others were absolutely dumbstruck.”

5 points for originality and use of technology,  -5 points for compassion.

Hat tip:  http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/laborprof_blog/

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