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Layoffs must be humane, say company CEOs

Source |  |  BY: Saumya Bhattacharya & Rica Bhattacharyya

NEW DELHI | MUMBAI: What’s the best way to fire someone? Whether layoffs are a function of business or employee performance, Tech Mahindra’s recent botched-up firing is not an exception. There are numerous instances from the past few months where employees have been shown the door in a matter of moments without any proper communication. Terminating an employee can’t be so casual and must be a humane exercise, according to CEOs and HR experts.

The Tech Mahindra employee was told about his termination over the phone. He recorded the conversation, which went viral on social media. This was followed by an apology byMahindra group chairman Anand Mahindra.

In March, a software engineer working as an associate with an IT services company in Bengaluru was summoned by an HR representative and asked to resign with immediate effect. The engineer, the sole breadwinner of the family with a home loan and children’s education to take care of, wanted a meeting with the HR head and asked for some time. The HR head shouted at the executive, threatening to have him thrown out of the office if he didn’t leave in three days. The employee sought support from an IT union.

“Several others have been intimidated and made to resign on the same day. The HR sits with a laptop and tells you to log in from there and resign right at that moment,” the person told ET. “I was also told to do so and when I refused, the HR person said she had deliverables to meet and it is my duty to resign.”

Harsh Mariwala, chairman of consumer goods company Marico, said such matters should be handled with greater understanding. “Don’t throw them on the road,” he said. “If a termination is the only option, it should be handled in a humane manner.”

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