Let’s fix accountability for your pink slip

  • Company ‘A’ served pink slip to its 10000+ employees.
  • Company ‘B’ decided to reduce 5000+ workforce in Q3.
  • Board of Directors of ‘C’, hints for workforce consolidation.

A common lunch room discussion these days, in most of the IT companies. Scary but that’s the reality, isn’t it. Be it a giant venture or a small startup company, what only matters is ‘revenue’. Irrespective of your vertical position, fear of being in the ‘potential candidate’ for pink slip is same across the board. Why me, simple and the only question in the mind of ‘victim’ of the process. And yes, don’t expect an answer from your HR too. So, what does that mean, you are no more working for the company and that is with no relevant reason, WOW. That’s not fair. Let the dust settle, and then of course you and only you can sit to find root cause of it. Who is accountable for this. Let’s revisit all possible potential reasons, and find who put your name in the list.

Is this board of directors

First and foremost cause, a company level decision. Reason might be any, acquisitions, mergers, low profits, reduced market share, losing customers, customer call,  profit optimisation or top brass reshuffle. It could be anything, but outcome is just a number, may be a dollar value of headcount. The same is then simply passed to HR team to act on within some timeframe, that’s it. Ohh, so it was not management who put my name in the list. It must be then HR team, let’s reach out to them to find the reason.

Is it HR team

Very possible, as they know the headcount and I might be a unthoughtful pick !!! really ? OK, so I am not HR and its not my job, still lets assume what they might have done. There might be accounts across board, and HR has sufficient information about accounts, to be acted upon. Unfortunately, it was my account, for which they might calculated headcount of different vertical positions. OK, nice enough. Ohh, Why Me ??

Wait, let’s dig a little bit more.

Believing in the theory of HR team, even after spending almost 3 to 4 times of monthly bill, it takes about at least 3 to 6 months to hire a productive resource. Yes, that’s the truth. So question is, if not required in my current account, why can’t they just tag me with some different account. Again, yes, they might had tried this too, but no result. So what next.

Quite possible, they might consulted with my bosses before taking this decision. Yes, Here you got the right direction. So, question again, Why Me ??

Is it your Boss

See, first and foremost point is, your boss is in the same boat with you. And, in a professional organisation, these kind of decisions never happen overnight. Reporting managers are not the ultimate authority who recommend ones name for the hard decision. But on the contrary, they are the ones who works with individuals directly, and might be a potential reason for what is been happening.

So, is it your boss, may be just because you are not friendly with him or not honoring his calls or maybe it is just a matter of like or unlike. This is pretty risky analysis, so be careful. Let’s evaluate each angle. Every boss dreams about having good resource in his team, and it is very hard for any manager to recommend his best performer. Still, if he is doing so, there must be some supportive credentials for the recommendations. Every organisation is having yearly or quarterly transparent performance evaluation process. Be it a qualitative or quantitative, individual credits kept as a record by the HR for monetary and/or professional career. And your earned credits over the years are the major player in the key decisions.

Ohh, but I was not at all cared about those processes. And why should I ? It was not my job.

OK, then let’s revisit what you think your would had claimed in your favor

Then, Was it me ??

“I completed all my tasks, within time limits”. FULL STOP.

Hmm, nice enough. Then why others scored just above to threshold,

Case 1 : Mr. A, scored because he completed the task before time, and then helped other members of his team in their task.

Potential Reason : Mr. A, spended his own time to learn new technologies, which helped him to finish his task little early. Also, he is aware of new things, which helped the product and the team.

Case 2 : Mr B, scored extra points, because he delivered some sessions on DevOps.

Potential Reason : Other than assigned work, Mr B, contributed extra for overall organisational growth.

Case 3 : Mr C, got extra score, because he earned some additional qualification.

Potential Reason : No explanation needed, afterall personal growth going to help the organisation.

Case 4 : Mr D, Recused our team during critical client calls.

Potential Reason : Which means, he is a value to team, so good one.

Case 5 : Mr E, normally extended his hours just to help marketing team in their leads.

Potential Reason : Other than his own work, he is also contributing in earning revenue, again a value.

There might be N, number of cases who scored high then you and you know the reason why.

Change is the only thing which persist, either you change yourself or process will change you.

A couple of questions then

  • If you were delivering enough, why are you in the list.
  • How many times, your work was marked as ‘Non Productive’
  • Were you prepared enough, to handle technological challenges.
  • Do you think, company was getting enough ROI from you.
  • Ever you claimed your credentials, to make them aware of how good you are doing.
  • How many times you missed assigned or unassigned targets.
  • For how many organisational tasks, you took initiatives or participated.
  • Were your team members, started avoiding you because of any other reason.
  • Since how many years, you are on the same role, etc etc

There might exist many variables which influenced the call, but at the end of the day, it is what it is. It might not be possible for others, to fix the accountability, but for sure individual can identify area of improvements for him. Agenda is not to curse individuals or reason(s), but to improve on for your next assignment. 

Lucky enough, your name is still not in the list, but can you smell a potential threat. Is it a wake up call? it’s up to you. Good Luck 🙂  


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