Here’s a helpful hint from the HR team at HMV: shut down the company’s Twitter account before you start terminations.
There’s nothing easy about laying off staff, and there’s always going to be some resentment among employees so it’s important to work with all managers to reduce any damage bitter employees might cause by airing their grievances in public.
It’s a lesson HMV has learned firsthand after members of its marketing team live-tweeted their firing under the hashtag “hmvXFactorFiring”. Starting with “We’re tweeting live from HR where we’re all being fired! Exciting!!” the unknown staff behind the comments reached out to thousands of followers with messages such as “There are over 60 of us being fired at once! Mass execution, of loyal employees who love the brand.” and “Sorry we’ve been quiet for so long. Under contract we’ve been unable to say a word, or –more importantly- tell the truth.”
The series of tweets, published January 31, ended with these posts:
The now ex-employee ended with a more serious accusation: “These accounts were set up by an intern (unpaid, technically illegal) two years ago.”
There are ways to handle terminations that can reduce some of the bitterness and resentment. Read more at the links below.
Best Practice: managing large-scale terminations
TV Tie-in: layoff best practice
Layoffs: managing those left behind