Lock up the liquor, hide the kids, and brace yourselves as conductor Bill Eddins has something to share on the painful subject of cutting staff. In particular, Eddins directs his in-case-you-miss-the-point-easily-let-me-make-it-painfully-clear pointed commentary squarely at those shouldering the task of deciding which employees stay and which go. His advice is not only well timed but could serve as a chapter in the Orchestra Management for Dummies book (wait, that doesn’t exist yet)…
Do read the entire article but for those of you who only process information in list format, here is what you need to know:
- Remember that many of these people have dedicated large chunks of their life to make the institution a better place.
- Have a little compassion.
- Don’t refer to the orchestra organization as “The Company.” (love this one)
- Don’t schmuck out and use the opportunity to get rid of employees that make you do your job.
- Cut the corporate jargon.
- Avoid antiseptic language that makes it seem like deciding who to fire was beyond your control.
- Don’t cancel passwords and shut off phone extensions while the person is in your office getting sacked.
- No marching people out under HR (or worse, security) escort.
- Don’t fire people by reading an HR script.
- “…have the good grace to look in a mirror and ask yourself whether or not the first person who should be fired is YOU!” (my personal favorite!)
For those of you out there who think your job might be in peril, you might want to stop by and read something I posted back in October, 2007 about how to go about translating the writing on the wall entitled You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit!.