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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

When your employer tells the whole world you have been sacked

The small advert tucked in between other commercial adverts read ‘The person whose picture appears hereunder is no longer an employee of this company and she is no longer authorized to transact any business on behalf of this company. Any person engaging with her does so at their own risk as this company bears no responsibility over such interactions.

This is one of the dreaded steps that any employee who parts ways with her employer would ever want to see. As much as the parting could have been acrimonious, no employee would ever imagine having their separation broadcasted to the whole world.

“What happened? What did you do? I hope you were not involved in fraud? These were the questions that Jane started receiving very early on a Tuesday morning as she work up to start off with her daily chores. She had made some appointments with a potential employer the same day when a friend called her checking on what had happened to her. She asked’ what do mean by asking what happened? What are you refereeing to?’ The friend went on ‘you haven’t seen it? Your name is splashed all over the newspaper today. Your former employer has put a paid up advert warning the readers from dealing with you’. That was a bomb shell.

Employers put up notices about the parting of ways between them and certain employees for varied reasons. The notices are a way of managing the effects of the separation especially in cases of fraud or where the employer feels like the former employer could utilize her former position within the company to defraud the clients and partners of the company. In this case, it is a process to protect the image of the company and also to ensure the company is not dragged into law suits by clients who may along the way get swindled by the former employer.

On the other hand, no employee would ever imagine seeing their images splashed in the newspapers indicating they are no longer authorized to transact business on behalf of the employer. This is usually a vote of no confidence in them and can potentially harm their current and future career prospects. It is even more hurting in cases when the separation was cordial and the employee had informed all the company clients about the separation and then have the former employer post a notice in the media.

The main reason surrounding the posting of pictures in the media is trust. The posting of the pictures happens in the event when the former employer does not trust that former employee will not use their previous position and linkages to defraud the company. It also happens when the separation between the two parties is acrimonious and the employer wants to cover the company.

To avoid the shame after separation, it is important for the former employee to appreciate the value of goodwill even after parting with an employer. In the case of Jane above, she had to cancel her appointment that day with her potential new employer due to the advert. Seek to develop trust with your employer so that even with the separation, you will comfortably rely on their reference to other employers. Always remember that it is people who employ people.

Finally, for the employers, it is important not to rush to the media to tell the whole world that you have divorced a certain staff. Unless the staff seems like she will for sure discredit you unless you shout about the separation, appreciate the danger that the advert could have on the future of the staff and consider some level of restraint. 

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