Middle management terminations: things HR probably won't tell you.Radiol Manage. 2002 Jul-Aug; 24(4):42-7.RM
Being a manager or director, you may have received training for how to prepare your subordinates for layoffs or terminations. But, would you be prepared if the employee being terminated were you? Termination practice rules for a manager are very different from the rules required for a staff employee. There are many things you can do ahead of time to help you respond to being terminated: Keep copies of important information at home. If you are terminated, you may be asked to go home without going back to your office for an extended time. If you are given time to consider options, you will do that from your home. Keep a copy of an updated resume on file. If you do not have internet, email or fax capabilities at your home, get them. Many companies offer ongoing education as a benefit option. Take advantage of it. Ongoing education will keep as many doors open as possible as you look for another job. Keep copies of summary plan descriptions of your benefits, especially your retirement plan. To be prepared for change, you should know the "street value" of the benefits that you require. Make sure you have an attorney you can trust. Find out how many years of experience in employment law he or she has. Also, make sure your current attorney would not have a conflict of interest in handling your case against your company. There are no set laws for severance benefits, but your company may have a policy based on the years of service and the level of management. Upon receipt of a severance agreement, you should have it reviewed by your attorney. You will be given a time frame within which to sign or to respond to the proposal. The company will offer the least amount they feel you will accept, and it is appropriate to negotiate the severance agreement. Termination is not the time to make amends for hard feelings that may have been created in the workplace. The advice, "Always be a little nicer than you have to be," will bear fruit when you are looking for a new job. Your reputation will precede you. Remember that your job does not define who you are. You are defined by the endless decisions you have made, actions you have taken, the relationships you have built and the values you have portrayed. Your job description may change, but you will not. If you have done your job in a way that you can be proud of, then you have been successful. Change can be difficult, but change is always easier if you are prepared. Job changes are not always within your control, but preparing to accept the change is something that managers can control.