Treat Employees with Respect, Especially When Firing Them

Josh Constine, in a post at TechCrunch:

That’s why the Denver-based Beatport was considering firing the employees over a conference call, but decided to send human resources representatives to SF. The company worried employees would destroy the office if not supervised. Meanwhile, multiple sources report that the startup has let go of around 20 employees in Denver, including the majority of the engineering team there. Two other music industry sources say Beatport was still operating at a loss after Q3 saw it lose $1 million on $12.1 million of revenue.

It's ridiculous that a company would ever consider firing employees via a conference call. It's incredibly insulting to the employees that this was even a possibility.

Being a manager is difficult. Having to break difficult news to employees comes with the territory. When it comes to people's livelihood, the proper way to let them know that they will no longer be employed is to do so privately and in-person if at all possible. Ideally, there should be a transition period where the employee can transfer his or her responsibilities and knowledge to others that remain at the company.

Think about it for a minute. Would you feel betrayed or angry if an employee suddenly left the company with little to no notice? Of course you would. Professional courtesies apply to both the employer and employee. The manner in which you treat employees at the beginning and the end of the employment relationship says a lot about your company's core values and about your abilities as a manager.

Folks, treat others as you would like others to treat you.