Let’s Fire You All: Company Overhauls

workplace overhaulSenior management, or those who have seen it all- please feel free to chime in on this one. You may have read in a previous statement I made on this blog, that I am currently working with a company doing a 40% overhaul. This is one of the smaller overhaul’s I have worked with. The largest was 80%. As experienced managers know, this kind of drastic change in a company requires your full attention and you end up working close to-but not quite- around the clock. These are the primary reasons for the current overhaul at a glance:

  1. Embezzlement (yes again)
  2. Highly toxic environment
  3. No moral – poor culture
  4. Poor work performance by majority of employees
  5. Company is facing loss of continued funding
  6. New CEO and CFO

For those of you who may not be familiar, an overhaul does not necessarily refer to large degrees of change management- but rather the restoration and repair of a system, project, or department. This requires intense planning, action plans, group scenario probabilities, fiscal year projections, budget considerations and reports, avoiding legal barriers at all costs, and setting the stage for future legal repercussions. Depending on the issues that endorsed this overhaul – a complete deconstruction of departments, including but not limited to internal auditing and investigations are completed. I understand when an overhaul is announced in a company meeting, that staff hears the word “fire” and think that management has shared a party bag of uppers and is now going crazy firing everyone. I get it- because as front line employees, we’ve all been there. Truth: management has been planning this and has had it in consideration for months, if not a year. It is a delicate task, and requires a tact for restoring integrity, which not everyone – even a CEO, can do. This is why you hear of specialists being hired for this purpose alone. A company may do staff overhauls for integrity and budget reasons- these being some of the most main concerns.

What is ultimately unfortunate is that a mass lay off means many people facing lack of resources for rent and groceries. What does the family do? I am a little bit of a stickler when it comes to marking people’s dismissal papers “lay off” because I want to encourage them to apply for EI, and I want to refer them in the community to any resources that can help them with employment, networking, and maintaining their basic needs. Let’s face it, severance pay is ideal, but it’s not always feasible for the company, so it can be limiting. The newest trend for company overhauls is the IT/Social Media and PR departments. Recently Blackberry, Yahoo, and several Unions undertook this venture. They didn’t complete a staff overhaul, no doubt some people were let go, however the primary focus for them was systems. Has it worked? Well, considering it all took place over the past month, we can’t be too sure. However, an overhaul does present a fresh slate, a new chance, and with the primary goal to restore integrity I would say they are off to a good start. Overhaul’s affect everyone in every corner and nook of the company. It is a chain reaction that overtakes the daily routine, relationships, business ops, and budget. It is necessary for some, but more concerning about who is doing it- and prayer to be whispered that it isn’t for projection reasons.


6 thoughts on “Let’s Fire You All: Company Overhauls

  1. tough wacking such a big group — hope whoever was steering at the time got wacked too. That’s the value of culture within a company, somebody awake at the steering wheel avoids alot of bumps. Usually when you get to that situation, the top talent in your group has already left.

  2. I was working in restaurant management for a while, before my current cushy gig. The District Manager called a meeting of all the General Managers, about 15 of us. At the beginning of the meeting he called six of the managers to stand up. He dismissed them in front of us all. After the six left he explained that there was evidence they were falsifying inventory numbers. I didn’t agree with the public dismissal, but it sure got the point across that such activities were unacceptal and dealt with swiftly.

    • Wowza! I don’t agree with public humiliation and fear up harsh tactics- I think it lacks integrity for the company and uses fear to control employees as opposed to basic communication- even if they did fire these people, they didn’t have to do it publicly. Yikes. I am glad for you that you were not a part of that group!….. although…. haha, sometimes it is better to be out the door than to weather the hail…..

      • Being in HR now I definitely don’t agree with such tactics. It would have been just as effective in my opinion if he had fired them privately and then explained why at the next meeting. Surely we would have asked where our former colleagues were. The job was a good one for restaurant management and I did it well, or at least I wasn’t falsifying numbers. But I am definitely happier where I am at now.

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