Stand Up to Senior Management

7/30/2020, By Sze-Yen Chee

Dear Yen,  

I’ve always been intimidated by Senior Management. Sometimes they can be pushy about their plans, steamroll over my input, and claiming instead that they know better, and to just “get it done. Most of the time, I will quietly do what I can. 

However, I’m very concerned about the latest situation. We are downsizing because of Covid-19 losses, and I have been told to try to save costs and not inform the exited employees that they qualify for Outplacement support. I think that's morally and ethically wrong. How do I push back?  


Dear JW,  

I hear you. Many of our HR contacts report that in their organization, HR is viewed as an administrative function, not a strategic one. It will be difficult to change your Senior Management’s perception overnight 

As the voice of conscience, your role is to ensure the welfare of your employees. You may try to appeal to their humanity to do the right thing.  

But what really works would be to make sure they understand the business impact of a poorly executed exit exercise. Social media is a double-edged tool, and many disgruntled ex-employees will not hesitate to express how they feel. 

The reputation and branding of the organization will be hurt, and in some cases, even leaders can be named and shamed online. The remaining talent, the ones that the organization is trying to keep, will see how Management treats its people and may choose to leave. Customers will also be impacted when employees are unmotivated. What follows could be a domino effect of negative events that will delay business recovery, negating any savings at all.  

Help your leaders see the business impact, and they will see the light. All the best! 

Best Regards,