Seeing red

I had to tackle this story first: how 16,000 employees of Everything Everywhere (the merger company of Orange and T-mobile) were publicly informed whether their jobs were safe, under threat or had been removed. By a red/amber/green light system.

Seriously. At meetings of up to 60 people, grouped by teams etc, people were shown on mass that their jobs had gone, were fine or that they would have to reapply for their existing job. Staff were obviously aware that a large announcement was being made, but I doubt, and according to this report, none of them had any idea they were going to be told the fate of their jobs in such a public and faceless manner.

The fact that the leaders of this company (who naturally don’t recognise Trade Unions) couldn’t even be bothered to verbally tell their employees that they were being made redundant is horrifying, and I truly mean that. It’s terrifying that so-called leaders didn’t have the balls to say ‘Hey, times are tough, and we’ve calculated that right now, we don’t need what you do. Here’s some ways we’re going to try to help you get work and here’s what we are going to pay you’.

Imagine walking into a room with 50 of your colleagues. Imagine sitting down and talking to your neighbour about what this could be about – you think it might be bad news about redundancies across the company, or a new process that will save money, or possibly even a change to terms and conditions. No one has spoken to you before about your job, but you’re no fool, you know cuts are coming.

And you get shown a red light and the presentation tells you that this means you’ve all just been made redundant. You, your neighbour, all 50 of your colleagues in the room with you.

It’s no wonder people cried or walked out. While this is not on a par with being texted that you’ve been made redundant (I bet it crosses their minds), this is still an appalling way of communicating a life change to over 1,200 employees.

Tact, Everything Everywhere. GET SOME.

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