HR Head, Mr X heads up the personnel team of a large company: he has been working in human resources for 15 years, having been responsible for the selection and training of personnel for several different companies. He firmly believes that every few years, we should move to a different company, because at a certain point, we have nothing left to give, so it is time for a change. He now manages a team of eight staff in a large and flourishing company. One of his tasks is to let people know when they are about to be fired: over the years, he has learned to deal with this situation, but he admits that no matter how experienced he is, the task is always unpleasant and causes him stress. In fact, Mr X cannot stand it when someone bursts into tears in front of him, but it happens often.
As with every job, a Human Resource Manager has to learn a few tricks of the trade: first of all, never give the person being fired the impression that it is their fault or that they have done something wrong. Most of the time the decision to fire someone is taken for other reasons than the actions of the person themselves. When firing someone, you must show understanding and demonstrate that you have analysed the situation carefully, that you know it well, and that you are concerned about finding the best solution, especially when it comes to financial matters. Therefore, a redundancy package should include outbound mentoring and helping with finding new opportunities, as well as a sum of money.
Once a dismissal procedure has started, the company has no interest in stopping it: therefore when a person is told that he will have to stay at home, there is nothing he can do to influence this. The dismissal meeting has an unspoken format, in which there is a careful balance between what is said and what is implied. In short, everyone plays a role which is already written, but they pretend to improvise, as though each of these meetings were unique. For example, Mr X is very familiar with the expressions and gestures that accompany this type of meeting, and has a finely-tuned sense of timing to manage the situation appropriately.