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'Be very careful while choosing a company'

Last updated on: May 13, 2009 18:37 IST

In an interesting twist to the layoff series we started early this year, we recently received this mail from a reader who belongs to the other side of the table, literally.

Ram Munjal*, who is the head of business operations of a Chandigarh-based software company narrates the pain and disgust he felt when he was asked to fire some of his best people by the management. 

Ram has some words of wisdom for employers as well as employees.

Name: Ram Mumnjal (*name changed on request)
Company/ sector: IT Software Testing and IT Education
Work experience: 4 years

I am writing this mail not as a laid off employee but as someone who was engaged in decision making for laying off employees. I have been keenly following this forum of layoff tales since it began and I have noticed that emotions are running really high here.

It is very unfortunate as a manager to sack your subordinates and I have always tried my level best to avoid this situation.

Despite of my consistent efforts, our company was running into losses, as many other companies are, and I was given a choice to either shut the business or do some restructuring and cost cutting. I had to convince the management that business will pick up in three to four months time. We had a good team working on various marketing campaigns for a year and the results were expected to bear fruit in the coming months.

But I must tell you the management really gave me a heart breaker when they asked me to layoff some of the best people working under me as they could not afford them any more.

It was really disgusting to see all the effort we put in as a team go for a toss in a second.

Although I have not been laid off, I feel cheated by the management. The management had promised me that this team would be with me for at least one year but they could not afford them for even seven months even though we were doing good business and were clearly poised to perform better.

My advice to any management:

  • Do not hire people unless you are sure about their roles
  • Make long-term priorities. Employees should not be treated as physical assets but as living beings with emotions. If you are not able to afford them do not hire them

My advice to any youngster or an employee:

  • Be very careful while choosing a company. Small companies are becoming cheats these days by adopting American work policy of hire & fire
  • Before joining a company, go for a history check. If an employer has the right to verify your professional background, an an employee you too have every right to verify the company credentials. Contact its previous or current employees and take feedback from them. You may get the real picture of the company
  • While on the interview table, clarify each and every point with your employer. Do not hesitate to ask the HR manager to mail you the company's HR policies for its employees
  • Last but not the least, do not always blame your manager for the pink slip you have received.

    The manager is always under tremendous pressure from the management for cutting costs. The manager is not always at fault and is an employee like you for the company and can also get fired one day.

    Do you have a layoff tale to tell?

    Have you lost your job? Do you know someone who has lost her/his job recently and is trying to come to terms with the situation?

    If you, your friends or relatives have a layoff story to tell, to inform readers about the lessons that you have learnt, please write to us at Your name and identity will not be disclosed unless you want it to.