Question:

I am in-charge of a small but flourishing Finance Consulting firm. There are three partners in all, and we have shared a great relationship in the past. Recently, we worked very hard on restructuring our organization to maximize our profits. We believe, now is really the time to pull all the strings. Incidentally, we came to a conclusion that one manager out of the two can be laid-off. One is a dedicated worker, respectful, and a fast learner. The other one is consistent, patient and soft-spoken. They have done a great job together, yet our decision to lay-off stands. Though being a Finance professional, the decision has been left to me as I mange the manpower. My partners totally trust my decision, but I am in deep dilemma. I cannot understand the outcome of the choice and how it would affect our firm. How should I choose whom to let go?

Advice:

Letting go of employees is a very sensitive and a critical issue. There are two parts, 1. You must be sure that you are right in choosing who to retain and who to let go. 2. Equally important, letting go of the other manager should be done correctly.

For the first part, I understand that your business is in the growth phase and is flourishing, so the right person to retain would be the dedicated, respectful and the fast learner. He or she would be able to take on the challenges of added responsibility and the new challenges that will be encountered by your organisation. Please ensure that he is well briefed so he is able to take on the current responsibilities of the other manager you will let go.

For the second part, the consistent, patient and soft spoken, who you may let go should be given all the possible assistance, to facilitate his transition from your organisation to some other organisation. An appropriate financial severance package should be given, and references so he or she may soon succeed in finding employment elsewhere. It will be great if you can identify some of your clients, vendors or other contacts who may benefit from his services.