“I got fired. I cried for a day or two but now I am ready to talk about it and plan my next steps. It’s a lonely battle out here.”
When Bay area based Priti Shah got this message from a friend she was concerned. She tried to rush to be with her friend and provide her support and the two caught up over a cup of coffee while mulling over how much of a management disaster the recent spate of lay-offs in Silicon Valley has been.
RELATED: Lay-offs make US a risky place to work (February 1, 2023)
For many Indians who recently lost their jobs or saw their friends or colleagues go through the process, it has been a traumatic experience. But many maintain that those who lost jobs are also victims of a major management catastrophe.
“It does not reflect on the employees, it reflects one hundred percent on the HR and the management. The situation is a result of shoddy planning and not because the fired employee was incapable or not a good worker,” says Sunita T, a tech professional with a start up in Palo Alto area.
The numbers of job cuts reported by some of the mega employers has been mindboggling. Meta laid-off a whopping 11,000 from its workforce, Microsoft is looking at chopping 10,000 jobs and several other employees of big and small corporates are feeling the heat.
RELATED: Laid-off employees on H-1B visas share their stories (January 27, 2023)
Kay Bhatia, a retired HR professional who has been observing this concerning trend across sectors in the US calls it an HR disaster along with management incompetence.
“What analysis was done to know how may resources and at what levels they were needed or required by the employers. Who predicted the demand among the marketing staff? What was the basis?” he asks.
“Who approved the demand matrix and gave a go ahead for requisitioning required staff. The demand could not have suddenly dried up. Why the sudden need to maximize profits by so called “rationalization of staff?”
Most employees on work-based visa admit that they knew the limitations of their visa all along. But should this have stopped the employers to be more humane? As Sunita T. says, “My visa status may be my problem but parting ways on human grounds is the least expected even at the time when industry may be going through a crisis.”
RELATED: Amid job cuts, does an H-1B visa still hold its charm? (January 23, 2023)
“May be in the hire fire regime we can’t complain about being laid-off. But couldn’t outplacement calls be created at least six months in advance,” adds K. Bhatia.
Talking about many cases where employees were fired on an email or Slack, he says, “each person could have been informed by a phone call if not a face to face meeting with HR/reporting manager.”
Some of the other suggestions many Indians offered include – Outplacement cells could contact placement agencies or place advertisements in the digital media and inform that certain staff would be available. This six-month period would have given the staff time to find alternate jobs etc.
Another raising concern has been about the health insurance which all employees maintain is a much-needed benefit.
READ: Tech layoffs send visa holders on frantic search for employment to avoid deportation (December 2, 2022)
“Health insurance is expensive to all concerned but the employer being stronger than the employee, could absorb the cost of health insurance for six months,” Bhatia suggests.
Most Indians feel that a dignified departure and empathy during the process are much valued employer assets.
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Indian techies prepare for worst amid lay-off spree (January 10, 2023)
In holiday season carnage, tech sector shed more than 50,000 jobs in November (December 29, 2022)
How workers can stay in the US after losing jobs (December 20, 2022)