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The Etiquette of Zoom Firing

  • December 09, 2021
 

The internet is a tool that companies can no longer live without.

This is usually not a bad thing, you have almost everything you need at your fingertips as long as you know what to search, be this to find instant information or to see what people’s opinions are about a certain topic.

However, the ability to do whatever you want at the touch of a button may not always lead to something positive. In fact, it can lead to quite the opposite.

In recent news, the chief executive of mortgage at the firm Better.com, Vishal Garg mass fired 900 people on the same zoom call.

Nobody wants to be fired, it is not an experience anyone would want and especially not this close to Christmas…

Now imagine being one of the 900 people on the Zoom call with your boss and hearing these words

"If you're on this call you're part of the unlucky group being laid off,"

This is possibly the worst way to approach the sensitive subject of firing someone. Trivialising the fact that 900 people are now going to be jobless as simply being part of an ‘unlucky group’.

This more resembles group humiliation than an appropriate way to fire such a huge portion of your staff. The process of firing somebody should be private and personal, so that the individual knows exactly why they are being laid off and have the ability to keep this information private.

Vishal Garg’s approach could not have lacked more empathy had he tried.

Not only is this method completely lacking in emotion, it is also extremely unprofessional. To fire 15% of your company in one fatal swoop without allowing any of them to give their say in a confidential manner seems completely wrong of a company.

This then raises the question of how far is too far when it comes to the internet in the current working world.

Companies should ensure that there is a set procedure in place to prevent such awful things like this from happening in the future. Hopefully with this being such big news, companies will think twice about mass impersonal firings such as this.

The internet world has been good to workers recently, encouraging people to prioritise their mental health, work life balance and just generally looking out for the worker after this awful year.

So, in many aspects, the internet has helped so much to ensure that workers are being looked after in the best possible way and gives them the knowledge to know if they are or not.

However, people like Vishal Garg clearly exploit the popularity of programs like Zoom for their own benefit, ignoring their staff in the process.

 

So, if you have to use Zoom in order to fire someone, how should you handle it?

1. Make sure that Zoom is the only possible way - if you can fire somebody in person take this route as it is more personal and feels more respectful to the person who will be laid off.

2. Be polite - it will be a hard situation so it is best not to upset the person before you have stated what is happening.

3. Be sure to word what you are saying in a way that cannot be misconstrued or sound like there is any possibility of the firing being prevented.

4. Get straight to the point, don’t beat about the bush.

5. Tell them exactly why you are letting them go, this will give them a chance to reflect on the reasons and understand why you have reached this conclusion.

6. Keep it as professional as possible, you do not want the person to feel as though they have been disrespected after such a tough situation.

 

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