Retrenchment Horror Stories

3/13/2020, By Sze-Yen Chee

Dear Yen,

What are some of the WORST things you have seen Employers do when retrenching staff?

Best regards,

Dear Jane,

We have many horror stories of bad Employer behavior.

One CEO visited in December, rallying all the employees in a major meeting to announce expansion plans and next year’s vision. 4 weeks later in January, the Chief HR Officer flew in under the cover of darkness, appeared the next day and announced that the entire operation was to be shut down with immediate effect! 

A large company has this practice - an Employee gets retrenched and is then invited to APPLY for another role within the organization together with everyone else (i.e through the job portal). They get put through the entire candidate review and interview process. And if they do get the job, they have to return the severance pay-out!

One company had people stationed at the building’s turnstiles. When an employee’s pass failed to give access, they were then ushered to booths where they were given their documents and marching orders. Right at the main lobby of the building. 

There are also horror stories where security personnel escorted the impacted employee to his desk to pack his belongings, and then escorted off the premises, right in front of everyone in the office. It can be humiliating for the person.

Most poorly executed exercises involve little to no planning. Myopic companies fail to see that if an individual is poorly treated, the company’s reputation and brand suffers. Good talent will seek opportunities elsewhere, and not want to join. There is a business case for responsible exit management.

Join us for our Closed Door Webinar next Wednesday from 12pm to 1pm as we analyze some famous case studies for your benefit!  Sign up at this link -

Best regards,