Finally, I got a chance to see this movie yesterday. And well, I had heard a lot about it for the right reasons. However, this is not a review. It’s just a collection of some thoughts that entered my head on watching it.
First, I’ve been in a situation where I’ve had to tell people that they were being let go of. As a trainer, I’ve had to tell some trainees that due to poor academic performance, they would have to seek ‘re-fitment’, or ‘re-deployment’. I tried to use the Clooney-esque method of being polite, firm and giving the person options on what to do in life, rather than stripping people of their dignity.
Not many people understand this, but layoffs/retrenchments don’t always make the axe fall on the poor performers. Sometimes, it is the ‘cream of the crop’ who may have to be ‘right-sized’. But, at such a tough time, it is easy for any employee to be bitter and devastated, and have issues with self-belief.
Moreover, someone who handles the situation has to ensure that he/she is empathetic, and not condescending or patronizing. That’s a tough one.
In fact, the first time I had to tell someone that he would have to leave, I couldn’t even walk into the room and had to ask a senior colleague to take charge. However, the colleague was sensible enough and encouraged me to handle what was surely my responsibility. Also, I owed this much to the people who had spent nearly 2 months with me in training, hanging on to most of what I had to say.
I never liked asking anyone to leave, though I had to. And now, as an MBA in HR, I might be faced with scenarios where I have to ask people to leave. Frankly, it’s a morbid thought. But, after watching the movie, I wouldn’t really look upon myself as a butcher, if I have to do the same job.
I guess the only thing I might hate is the living out of suitcases bit. :)
P.S. If you haven’t seen the movie, do so! It’s worth a watch.