Recently my company had gone bankrupt and sadly all the employees were out of job. Our great CEO screwed up things and absconded with millions of money and that's how our company was declared bankrupt. So how was the news broken in our office. Here it is, all of us were called into the meeting room on that fateful day and our VP of Indian operations was over Polycom from Delhi. Not even a single person had any idea what is gonna happen. And the news was broken that our CEO has absconded with millions of dollar and the company has been declared bankrupt. It was a blunt announcement. No feelings, no sympathy nothing. The way it was conveyed was really bad and blunt. When your in the top management there is some sort of expectation. When something of this magnitude happens please treat it as extraordinary and convey it with some sympathy and empathize with people. These things go a long way in making people think the company is caring about them and is fully empathizing with them. Ok the news is broken now what?
Everyone in the management started their own process to rescue the company. Come on man, where is the so called team work gone? Only when it comes to the work of the subordinates these people talk about team work and how a team should be. When a crisis is staring right in their face there is no team work. The ideal thing to do during these kind of situations is to form a team to face the crisis.
The team should comprise of the best in the business. A person to tackle the employee related problem. This person in turn can have his own team to come up with strategies on how to handle people related problem. Another person to interact with the media and outside world. We know the media can blow anything out of proportion, so an apt person should be appointed to act as the one point communication to the media and others outside the company. Care should be taken to keep the employees and their families out of media focus. During these crisis time employees and their families exposed to media can be very dangerous, for rumors can fly and can mentally affect the family.
Another group headed by someone to see the possibilities to revive the company. This group plays a vital role. This group should have the best from the company, like the best person who can give an excellent presentation. If he is a techie guy well and good if not the presenter should be backed by the best techies of the company. A presentation template and format must be prepared and should be reviewed and presented to the crisis team. The crisis team should evaluate and approve the presentation. When the presentation is given to prospective buyers, one or two members from the crisis team should oversee the presentation and come up with recommendation for improvement if any.
And finally there should be a person who should oversee all these. He should call up the meeting of the crisis team, preferably twice a week, track the progress, discuss and share with others what is happening. Once the meeting is done the information can be shared with the employees. I would say it should be. This can convey that the management is caring about the employee and they want to keep everyone into the loop on what is happening. If this doesn't happen, this can cause gossips and all shorts of rumors will fly. Giving updates to the employees can do wonders to an already ailing company.
That was about how the crisis team should be. Did this happen in my company? I don’t think so, may have happened but not to my knowledge.
Some of the positives which happened and which I would like to appreciate is that one of the top C level executive was sitting through the crisis and helping investigators and others to find solution. Also during these trying times he sent out mails to most of the employees personal mail ids apologizing with them for what had happened and also gave some sort of assurance that he is trying to save every job possible. That's a true management guy and gem of a person who even under such bad situation is thinking of the good of others. My salute to such a great soul. I don’t have words to explain my admiration to such a person.
I kept on thinking how come in the presence of such a able person the chaos ensued? The reason can be, that others were not supporting him. I am sure he may have tried hard but due to lack of support from others he would have been helpless.
Also our local office did many excellent things though there were many things which were not so great as well. The not so great stuffs dwarf away when compared to the extraordinary things. Following are the things which were positively taken care.
- Employees were given one month salary in advance so that all of them get enough breathing space to find an alternative. With the provided salary employees were getting nearly 2 months to find a job.
- The paper works and everything was done in a very effective and excellent way. There was no hassles what so ever.
- Employees were allowed to use office premises for nearly one month. The intention was to make employees stick together and be supportive to each other. This way the tension can be relieved and shared.
- Also the employees stuck together and supported each other which helped in taking out pressure. I would say many of us didn’t feel the pressure of not having a job. Each one of us jostled together as a team and were discussing what can be done next. Excellent piece of team work.
- Also the local management supported us in every way possible, by providing us access to systems, networks, printers and every other possible help to find a suitable alternative. Kudos to them for being so considerate.
So that was my experience with my previous company where I met many great minds and people.