Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Pink slips in the Inbox?

No, this isn't an article about Barney Frank's fashion tastes. It's about a personnel move from Radio Shack that is, to say the least, pretty damned dehumanizing. From Breitbart/AP:
RadioShack Corp. notified about 400 workers by e-mail that they were being dismissed immediately as part of planned job cuts.

Employees at the Fort Worth headquarters got messages Tuesday morning saying: "The work force reduction notification is currently in progress. Unfortunately, your position is one that has been eliminated."

Company officials had told employees in a series of meetings that layoff notices would be delivered electronically, spokeswoman Kay Jackson said. She said employees were invited to ask questions before Tuesday's notification on a company intranet site.

Derrick D'Souza, a management professor at the University of North Texas, said he had never heard of such a large number of terminated employees being notified electronically. He said it could be seen as dehumanizing to employees.

"If I put myself in their shoes, I'd say, 'Didn't they have a few minutes to tell me?'" D'Souza said.
While I do not dispute the legality of this move by Radio Shack, I guess I'm still from a different era when it comes to human resources. I think that if you're going to lay people off (or just flat out fire them), bring them in and let them know face-to-face. If you fear some kind of confrontation, then have security in there. A little decency in such a sensitive situation doesn't seem to be too much to expect...does it?