This issue came up with many discussions where a team member when assessed below the performance standards or any issue not acceptable to him or her, threatens their immediate manager to commit suicide or to take any other drastic action. How a manager should handle this situation or employee and what are the HR safeguards available to the manager going through this situation.
From India, Visakhapatnam
Dear Gurdeep
Would you mind providing more information about yourself. Will address your query upon receiving information as requested.
In the mean time provide me the following supportive information.
1) How many years of experience he is holding with your firm?
2) Total years of Exp?
3) How old is the assessee?
4) Describe the NOTED/VISIBLE ATTITUDE/BEHAVIOR of ASSESSEE with his colleagues.
5) Relationship status between ASSESSEE and IMMEDIATE MANAGER?
6) Kindly update about the PREVIOUS ASSESSMENT STATUS of ASSESSEE.
With profound regards

From India, Chennai
Dear Gurdeep,
The employee in question is asking for an eager ear , who can give him/her a patient listening. The issues are going to run way beyond the current work situations. Please be prepared for them. Most of these issues are beyond anyone's control and any option to resolve it . They merely need time, during which he/she needs to grow up to face and accept it .
Please find a counsellor amongst your leaders who is ready to make that effort, for him/her. It may and may not be productive at all. However, as an HR , that remains your only option. Eventually , the employee will move out of your organization to other roles. You can only offer balance and stability , till then. Let him/her be guided to the best of your capabilities.
Wish you all the best !
(Cite Contribution)

From India, Mumbai
I agree with Ms (Cite Contribution), but you must inform the same to his/her family immediately whenever you found this problem because in this kind of situation people most of time can be found in two situations that we cant deny actually. The very first is that one can be damn serious and commit suicide anytime, which can be dangerous to both the parties. Second, this employee is just acting to take benefits, therefore, what HR Manager has to do is to take this situation very wisely.

First step, The Manager has to take him/her easy by saying that they gonna get him/her another chance of few more days to perform which he/she has to accept. Because the employee who threatens always expect quick answer by the Manager/Employer, which is really important and complicated situation for both the parties.

Second, Manager needs to assign this job to get him/her ease by any colleague/friend of this employee, so that, the immediate situation can be handle or control, and Manager/Employer can get time to take further and corrective actions. (Also suggested by Ms. (Cite Contribution) above)

Third, Manager must arrange a counselor for this employee and inform the same to the family of this employee. However, sometime employer/Manager feels that this action can make employee more impulsive and affect negatively but because in any case, employee took action, the employer can be found accountable for the situation.

Like Ms (Cite Contribution) said above “You can only offer balance and stability” these three quick steps can help Manager to handle the situation wisely.

From India, Gurgaon
Hello Gurdeep !!
Firstly let me say that you've come up with a real time problem that many of us face..
Coming to your query, I feel that such employees are either dumb or very smart (extremes). They are losers who fear that if they lose this job they would never find one which would disturb their social status too (personal life) or are so confident (like blackmailers) who are sure if taken such steps (only verbal warning) the company will fallback & will do whatever they want. They are so smart that even at the time of interview (selection process) it is difficult to identify this attribute.
Ideally A.K. Arora has mentioned the steps beautifully which can be taken to handle such situation but I feel in addition to that it is better for a company to also identify the way such employee can be asked to leave once things are smooth.

From India, Ahmedabad
Dear Gurdeep,

This type of situation is very frequent in the lives of HR personnel. I have also come across with similar type of situation where one ex-workman wrote a letter to our Management and threatened to commit suicide. He had written in his letter that he was paid less VRS amount and as he is having too much of liabilities (son's education /daughter's marriage etc.), he is mentally disturbed and unstable and will commit suicide. The workman had opted for VRS and got relieved after taking all legal payable dues. His action was of course, under the instigation by one of the rival union leaders. What I did was to reply his letter indicating that you had opted for VRS dated..... and after accepting your application form under VRS, you were relieved after paying all the legal dues. We also enclosed all the relevant documents and clarified that opting for VRS was your own decision and nobody from the Management forced you opt for VRS. We also added that threatening Management for committing suicide is nothing but a pressure tactics to extract some more money from the Management. Your action (threat of committing suicide) is unlawful under IPC and subject to suitable action by the law enforcing authorities. We marked copy of this letter to local SHO, SP, DM, Labour Commissioner and also to Chief Inspector of Factories and Boilers. We also wrote a separate letter to SHO and requested him to intervene in this matter. Result of our action was quite clear, the said ex-workman of our company was booked under relevant section of IPC and we all heaved a sigh of relief.

I think, you can also do the same. Please take advice from your legal counsel and shoot a letter at once. You can mention his deteriorating performance level and if there exists a mechanism in your company where his performance has been measured and found to be below average then it will be the best and far more advantageous to you. Please don't forget to mark copies to all the relevant Govt. officials. You don't know, the threat might just happen into reality.


Rakesh Pd Srivastav

From India, Gurgaon
Threatening to commit suicide is due to lack of confidence.
This is a nature of human being to protect him/herself from threat which he/she is facing.
Being a human every individuals responsibility is to go through route cause of every problems surrounding us and find out the solution through Skilled people.

From India, Delhi
Dear Gurdeep,
i am glad i read the points put forward by members and is grateful, even if the particular staff i am referring to has not openly threaten to commit suicide, but her behavior is so outrageous that i would like to do it myself, she laughs loudly in the office - an obnoxious one which drive me up the wall, gossiping and making up stories, not respecting the senior officers, music loudly in the office just because she is bored, or is the only one who comes in late because her son is having exams. Noone says anything to her and we are told to be quiet as things were being done, then who cares the little things in-between. office politics. thanks guys for the replies.

From Mauritius
Talk to his family members and tell them about his/her suicidal tendencies.
Tell him he needs professional help and recommend some suicide helpline or professional counselor. If possible, help him with bill reimbursement etc if your company policy allows that.
The moment it does in the threat-of-suicide zone, it becomes a serious matter. Do the right thing. Do everything you can as a human to help him but do not give a higher performance rating just because of the pressure of his suicide threat.
Also, whether he is a total dumb or too smart, you wouldn't want him on the rolls for long - if he is bluffing, he is setting a bad example and bringing in a non-performance related issue into decision making and if, god forbid, he actually does something terrible, you and several others in the office might have to handle unnecessary headache.

From India, Delhi

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