Why your employees have the right to be sacked and how, as HR professional, you can contribute to their revitalising.
Let’s start with a disclaimer: Yes, I know that a lot of exceptions exist on the story below. And I also know that dismissal and unemployment are experienced as a hopeless situation by many people. However, I would like to discuss the approximately 85% of the situations in which a forced dismissal is a blessing and the start of someone’s new luck and happiness.
Last week I have had such a meeting again. I was talking to a smooth lady – mid forty, Bachelor educational level, working 32 hours a week in a sales function – and she told me that a couple of weeks ago she was being made redundant. “I am being fired”, is what she said, and I can tell from her lower lip that this was a hard, unpleasant message for her. “I have worked so extremely hard for 11 years for them and now they are kicking me on the streets. In two weeks, they are arranging a farewell lunch for me and then I need to hand in all my stuff. I think this is terrible and I really don’t know what to do.” She also told me that a social plan is applicable. The coming months she will receive an unemployment benefit and the employer offers her a budget she can use for outplacement services.
Fortunately, I could restrain myself and as a result I provided her with some comforting and calming words. But from the inside I am still so happy for her! I know something that she will know in a while as well. Namely: that she just took a step into the direction of brand-new energy.
It is a recurring cycle: an employee loses his or her job, gets angry, feels badly treated, is being forced to accept the new situation, and then starts searching for a new job. Then he or she acknowledges that there is a freedom in his or her choice, selectively searches and finds the perfect job. And when you meet that person months or sometimes years later again, the reaction is usually: “that was the best that could ever happen to me”. The reason for this is simple: to be sharp, motivated and ambitious almost everyone needs one common ingredient: change. That can be either a new job within the same organization, a new manager, another office, or even a new job within another company.
Even the most stubborn people with a fear for change will not deny that change causes energy to flow again. The same stubborn, anxious person does call for years (and not without a reason) that the employer is no good. E.g. that he or she does not understand that the director is fulfilling that position, because “that man has no connection with any other human beings at all”, or that one person (him- or herself) always need to do the nasty tasks, or that the Christmas present means nothing compared to what it used to be, etc. In short: the person who is anxious for changes is unsatisfied but does not dare to give up the certainty only because he doesn’t like his employer, in exchange for the uncertainty if the next employer is better. And therefore, that person is sailing on a ship that is out of control and hopes to make it until his pension. And indeed, in those cases it will cost a lot of energy to keep on working up until the age of 65 years.
Agile and employable
Therefore I make this call: when you do not get energy out of your work and/or you might get fired (by either a reorganisation, bad performances, or whatever reason you can think of), embrace the chance to do what you really love to do and find your new luck and happiness. There are always many opportunities outside then when you stay in your daily routing sailing around without you being the pilot. And you will also experience how great it is to lose your old job. Stay full of energy!
And in case you read this as an employer and you want to invest in your employees? Whether it is about positive support for a restructuring or the agility and employability of your people, Optimus Acorro offers Eye Openers Workshops that help employees to be open for other chances inside or outside the company. In case there is a group of people that need help in finding back enthusiasm and energy, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.