Monday, August 12, 2013
AOL's public firing at a conference call is not the way to do it
AOL’s Tim Amstrong apparently wanted to imitate Donald Trump when he fired his creative director publicly in a conference call today, regarding its “Patch.com”. Would Steve Case have done this?
And HR people everywhere are saying that this is poor form, as in this Today piece.
In my own career, most firings that I heard about happened after a series of steps, usually called “progressive discipline” or “performance improvement plan” (or “PIP” as from “Great Expectations”). It’s possible for that to be quite abbreviated.
Typically, progressive discipline involves counseling, verbal warning, written warning, and then a private termination. But after a termination, the employee usually has to leave immediately, and take only personal effects.
I knew, though, of manager’s saying, “that’s a verbal warning”.
And I’ve seen things get brutal, when employees “on discipline” seem desperately trying to save their jobs.
Did the AOL "victim" get any severance? I've heard of cases where people were told (during a discipline step) they would get a little severance if they would resign quietly, but not if it comes down to firing.
PBS aired a documentary on firing employees back in the late 1980's.