Getting Fired In Voicemail

Getting Fired in Voicemail

What's the effect on the rest of the team? A couple of years ago I heard from a colleague that he had been fired in voice mail. After asking him about this he told me that neither his immediate supervisor nor his second level supervisor had spoken with him about his productivity and yet this is the reason he was given for his dismissal.

Now understand that I am not defending the employee and maybe he should have been fired. The problem once again is not what was done; rather it was how it was done.

A good supervisor does not need to be accessible 24/7 yet the leader needs to be accessible to the needs of his/her employees.

In this situation, maybe the supervisor was so overworked that he (in this case it was a male) did not see what was going on with the employee until it was too late. While this may be true it still does not warrant firing an employee in voice mail.

Last year I heard of an employee getting fired in a text message. I am not sure which avenue is worse, text message, or voice mail. What has happened to open communication between leaders and front line staff?

While productivity is at the forefront of most Americans, instances like these two damage the morale of the staff and in turn have an adverse effect on productivity. Most people feel that morale is difficult to measure. While difficult, it can be measured. Let's look at some statistics.

The good news is that according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) since 2001 the rate of productivity growth has accelerated again to 3.4% per year. From the mid 1970's through the mid 1990's the productivity rose at just 1.5%. In the mid 1990's the productivity rate rose to 2.5%.

Productivity absolutely depends on the people. According to the 2006 Employee Review by Randstad USA (Randstad is a global provider of professional employment services and the third largest staffing organization in the world) employers say that top five productivity gains have come from the following:

28% - Increased employee effectiveness

15% - Technology

12% - More skilled people

8% - Pay for performance

4% - Logistics improvement

Investments, supply chain efficiencies six sigma outsourcing off-shoring and onsite contract workforce management accounted for about 2% each in productivity gains.

There is no doubt that technology plays a huge part (15%) in productivity gains and as technology changes (and it will continue to) employers need to provide the right training at the right time to keep pace with technology.

The old adage of 'a happy employee equals a productive employee' has never been more prevalent than in today's workforce. When was the last time you took an employee satisfaction survey? How about the last time you found out what is important to your employees? What about how they feel about management? And of course how they feel the morale of the company is? Naturally all of these need to be asked anonymously to insure fair and balanced responses. I think you would be amazed at what you can learn from your staff.

The Randstad report shows that over 70% of employers and employees say that high levels of employee satisfaction and high morale along with a willingness to assume more job responsibility are vital when it comes to productivity.

One of the most important things any organization can do is to provide ongoing training for employees both of the technical and soft skill variety. Training if done correctly should accomplish the following:

  • 1 - Increase the skill set (technical or soft).

  • 2 - Improved self confidence and self esteem.

Old school technology focused on the equipment or physical assets of an organization and not as much on the people. Today as Generation Y enters the workforce values and beliefs are changing and like it or not everyone has to adapt to keep productivity moving forward.

If you fail to keep up you will get left behind.


Gregg Gregory helps organizations design cooperative teams that produce results and perform at peak levels. Through his interactive workshops and consulting, Gregg's clients achieve greater team focus, cooperation, productivity, and impact. His experience includes more than two decades of human resources, real estate, mortgage banking, as well as radio and television broadcasting. Please contact Gregg at (301) 564-0908 or visit http://TeamsRock...

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