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Hi ,

There is a prcatical problem I am facing thesedays. I will expect your suggestions so that I can act accordingly to fix the problem.

- HR dept fired one of the employee who was working as a testing engineer , She has been fired due to her misconduct and misbehaviours.After she left the organisation she called all other employees and told them that the HR personnel there are bad people to work with and even if she tried to misguide other female employees against the HR people and told them to leave the company otherwise they may be harrassed. her anti campaign made others thinking of the company and it seems to me that they are looking HR as not trusted and their behaviour seems to be something else than before.

Probelm is:

HR department hired some new employees and they joined us.I am afraid if the current employee will tell new employees the story that they got the story from the old employee (story without fact and total lie) then what can be the thought of the new joinees.Is this will effect them and as soon as they join they will also feel that the HR can not be trusted.

What should be the steps to stop this. How can the HR will convey the message to the new joinees that the story is a plain lie.

Please advice me.HR executives really having the tension on this problem.


From India, Gurgaon

It is clear from your reporting that the role of HR in the organization is either not clear or is misconceived. I say this, because in no company HR has the decision making authority to Hire or Fire employees. Therefore in your case, did HR decide to terminate the employment of the said employee? If yes, did it have the authority to do so? Or was it a decision taken at the "right" level and HR merely implemented (conveyed) the same?

If the person whose services were in fact terminated, invited, after being terminated, her ex-colleagues to spout venom against the HR or the company, two things are now crystal clear. One is that she deserved to be sacked, if for nothing else, for her negative, stupid and immature behaviour and second is that if her ex-colleagues listened to he and got influenced, then they are also equally immature and/or negative and/or stupid to be influenced by such trash!!!

Answering your specific query, if my assumptions regarding HR's authority are correct, then the HR should take out a circular to educate the remaining employees and the new joinees about the cause/s and the situation why the concerned employee found herself out of the job and the circular should contain an assurance for others that the company values all those who add value and work in cohesive teams for the company's growth. Such a thing is rarely done in organizations, but your situation needs an exeception to be made.

You are free to raise more queries on the subject to me and I will try to answer your difficulties.

Cheers & Regards


September 7, 2007
From India, Pune
Hi, I agree with Samvedan's crisp advice. Take out a circular assuring, rather reassuring the new trainees of company's motives in a generalised manner hinting at such misbehaviours, as in circulars it will be better not to mention a person's name in particular, and also make it clear that company will not tolerate any nonsence detrimental to company's image. Regards....Srini
From United Kingdom, London

Would like to Add few words. It all depends on individual perception, anyway your wory is about the new employees joining the company, that can be sorted in the induction. but you can also tell the terminated employee that if she continues this then she will be blacklisted in the company rolls and no good releiving letter she can except from you.

Rumours are everywhere whether the co. is small or Big. keep your employees engaged with some good time every now and then. if one individual can cause damage so grave, then seriously there is a problem.

A circular highligting the incident can be a good idea, but more chances are that it may go worse. the terminated employee is doing all these for getting attention. dont let her be successful in that. as for supporting you actions you have order Copy, PMS reports i believe, and also the enquiry proceedings.

if only anybody asks for an explaination then only give it and that to only what is required.

This should not be a long lasting problem, and not all problems have immediate solutions especially for the ones related to Behaviour & psyche.


Deepak. M 8)
From India, Mumbai
Hi I feel you should personally meet the employees and try to build trust. let the HR head meet the employees. share with them the true scenario as it is a threat to HR. Regards Harpreet
From India, New Delhi
In addition to the circular, my suggestion is that you increase your networking with different parts of the organization.
This will help build your credibility within the organization and then you will be able to counteract situations like this by giving people the real picture - VERBALLY.
The verbal message should be consistent with the circular and should be able to add a few more details or background to the message in the circular.
All the best.
From India, Mumbai
I would like to say something here. Firing of an employee is not as easy as it has been mentioned in the details. There has to be a documented procedure. If it is a a small organisation with no systems, the HR department is not the one who 'decides' firing of an employee. It is top mgt persons controling the activities. And if the systems are there and HR department is authorised to carry out 'disciplinary actions' then it will not be baseless.
In either case, it will be ridiculous (sorry if my language is offensive) for HR to send out a circular explaining things that happened with an employee.
If some thing is to be communicated, it should be general conduct guidelines and a training program on organisational behaviour. Definitely not the details of a particular case.
- Hiten

From India, New Delhi
Dear All,

Thanks a lot for all your worthy suggestions. But, please tell me what should be the circular and don't you think the circular will have some bad effects on other employees.?. What should be circular contain, and if I will tell the details to the new joinees during induction then don't you think this will leave the employee with a negative thought on the organization?What I will communicate on that employee who has been fired? If I will tell others that she has been fired then don't you think that new joinee will get the idea that a day may come he/she will be fired,as the company fired others.

Then here in my company the firing authority is not the HR but HR should fire anyone after getting the order from someone who is working with the capacity of a Vice president or Director but, they always seeks the advice of the HR manager who is having direct interaction with the employees.

What I am looking from you great HR gurus, is please suggest me something best so that I can keep the new joinees away from those old indiciplines created earlier by other employee who has been fired 10 days ago and she just taken the advantage of being a female(sorry if anyone found this wording wrong)and biased other old talents against HR and management team, she used some wordings against one of the senior HR manager saying that he can't be trusted and somany vulgar words.

How can I assure other female employees that they should keep faith on him(HR Manager) as they already biased by her.This is the main question which I am desperately looking for an answer.


From India, Gurgaon

I understand your concern regarding the "circular" and the effect it may have on the new joinees! I said in my first response itself that such an action is generally NOT resorted to by organization but your case needs an exception to be made.

I am providing below in inverted commas a draft circular. If you like you can make suitable changes and use the same as a general notice. But the notice is put on the notice boards and the chances are that even outseders may get to read the same and draw some unwarranted inferences.

It is for this reason I prefer a "circular". The same purpose can be served by departmental meetings where organization's stand can be highlighted, but even that may lead to discussions and all those who will lead these meetings may not be adept in handling queries, if any. And if there are queries, you simply should NOT avoid to answer. Therefore once again I fall back on the idea of a circular. Here goes the draft!...

" For the information of all concerned.

It has come to the notice of the management that certain ex-employees are, on incorrect and biased foundations are criticizing the management policies. The aim of this circular is dispel any miconceptions that may have got generated because such vile and motivated emotional outbrusts.

The company underscores the fact that interpersonal relationships at work, especially are based on mutuality and reciprocity within the bounds of the organizational culture. The company believes on performance and positive orientations. Employees at all levels are always encouraged to seek answers to their questions from their superiors.

The company does NOT approve maligning, vindictive and false propaganda to vitiate company atmosphere and relationships.

It is asserted that the company underscores team work, value addition and proactive work culture and has no place for lack of transparency, double speak and irresponsible conduct. The competent members of the company find the atmosphere supportive and reqarding. The company selects candidates for various skills and responsibilites with great care, invests substantially by providing excellent work platforms to grow personally and professionally.

Finally, please remember that your focus and purpose in associating with this company is all that should matter. The company advises everyone to continue to enjoy your work and relationships."

You may modify this draft to suit your situation and issue without fear of a throw back!!



September 10, 2007
From India, Pune
Dear Mr. Samvedan,
I am thankful to you for your suggestions and I had decided to use the circular. But, sir, Can you please suggest me something more on the problem.Kindly see my last posting and I have somany questions to which I am looking for solutions. Sir, kindly look in to my last posting and help me further please.
Warm Regards
From India, Gurgaon

Please consider my comments (in blue)

You said: Then here in my company the firing authority is not the HR but HR should fire anyone after getting the order from someone who is working with the capacity of a Vice president or Director but, they always seeks the advice of the HR manager who is having direct interaction with the employees.

Response: Yes it is true and correct that the decision to Hire & Fire must be taken by a designated and empowered authority in the organization. While the HR may do all the processing (like necessary word processing, issuance fo the letters etc. purely from the point of view tp legally safe guarding organization's interests.

You said: What I am looking from you great HR gurus, is please suggest me something best so that I can keep the new joinees away from those old indiciplines created earlier by other employee who has been fired 10 days ago and she just taken the advantage of being a female(sorry if anyone found this wording wrong)and biased other old talents against HR and management team, she used some wordings against one of the senior HR manager saying that he can't be trusted and somany vulgar words.

Response: Sorry, you cannot insulate other employees new joinees or seniors from such vile infulences. Don't let us even attempt that. After all we are dealing with grown ups and NOT small children!! People will mingle and we cannot police them all the time. If you stop this in office, they can always meet outside anyway. To avoid such things in future, you must devise ways to CLARIFY HR's role in a suitable manner. In any case HR is NOT a front stage actor. He will always be back-stage worker. Thus his presence may not be seen though it will be felt by its action. HR, I have always professed, is a conscience keeper of the organization and additionally is a facilitator of interpersonal transactions within the organization. He is a balancer, coordinator and a team builder! His job is to ADVISE all those who seek his advice, including the seniors. And yes, HR should never perceive itself to be a "power centre." An employee is an employee. The gender does not matter. Often girls behave with far greater maturity that the boys and boys are also many times seen behaving in unnecessrily arrogant and mindless manner.

You said: How can I assure other female employees that they should keep faith on him(HR Manager) as they already biased by her.This is the main question which I am desperately looking for an answer.

Response: Please, faith is something you have to EARN and you do so by your credible, objective yet compassionate and efficient manner where those around will INFER that you mean what you say and say what you mean!

Having attempted to cover all your points in your previous posting, permit me to emphasise that the role of HR requires a much more elaborate a discussion and there kindly do not treat the above points as comprehensive or conclusive statement on the subject.



September 11, 2007
From India, Pune
Good SAM. But I suggest to lie low and do not give much importance to this. Employees normally views a circular as an official document conveying management views. And any such circular from HR would be viewed as a knee jerk reaction and creates further doubt in their mind. As a general statement , orally you may indicate the new joinees during induction that if they have any issue or want clarification they can talk to HR or any higher official instead of discussing among themselves.
Just ignore that lady after some time every body will mind their business .

Hi Vengateshan,
u really spoke my mind, even i am of the opinion that a circular will furthur worsen the situation, there is no point in worrying about a person who no longer exists in the organisation.
A circular may get evryone under one roof and discuss the issue which should not be given so much importance. afterall everyone of us know whats our job and we do it as per the Policy laid down by company.
the more you react the more chances the employees think that u are on the wronge side and defending youselves.
Grooming the new joinees is a matter of Trainers efficieny. attitudes can be changed. i think the employees spend more time discussing things like this.
Employee engagement and more interactions with the employees can solve the problem. Do some activities something outstanding after which the employees should talk about it. Divert their attention from this stuff.
u have to also give importance to Control which is a very important principle of managing people.
From India, Mumbai
Dear All,
Almost everybody faces such a problem in their professional life. In my opinion, instead of any circular or dedicated campaign against that ex employee or her stories, we should work on strengthening following for long term relationship.
- transparency in actions
- communication, communication, & communication in all forums (official/non official) at every level.
- creating an environment of trust
- employee friendly image
From India, Calcutta
This has been a very healthy discussion on a very sensitive issue. My sincere appreciations for all who have shared their views.

Sam's views are true essense of HR profession.

At the same time I agree with vengatesan about the circular.

Consider a situation wherein in a clean and still water of a pond, someone throws a stone, suddenly everything becomes blurred.

But you cant do anyting to make it clean and still again. It gets clean and still on its own. Quickly too. But it you try to put your hand in it, the result will be more disturbance.

When trust and reliability is questioned, you cant prove it with a circular. It has to be won back by consistancy. It takes its own time. But it can be won back only with patience.

When people get on with their jobs, they will automatically forget the issue and realise that the HR person is trustworthy and reliable (if he actually is). This will happen on his own. Let people judge the situation. Dont make them wear glasses of the circular to see the situation. Trust their naked eyes.

As HR professionals many a times our heart boils over things which we really care about but can do nothing about. It is good that we care and monitor. But here not reacting and carrying on with our jobs (consistancy, transparancy, cooperation) is the need of the hour.

Remember, pond has ability to settle its issues itself. Clarity and stadiness are its characteristics.



From India, New Delhi
Top Management and HR can address all the employees of the company and clarify the reason which made them take a decision to fire an employee and emphasis that employee can personally write to the top management if they come across any incident of harrassment.
HR needs to make employees feel that they care for them. If this happens no amount of such rumours will effect them.
From India, Bangalore
I would like to draw attention Of Dev,Samvedan & Peer saab.
Come-on samvedan How can you say “In no Company HR dept. has authority to Hire & Fire.” It is a General Statement samvedan Saab. I astonish to see Mr. Peer Saab going with the flow of same comments.
One has to understand in Gross Misconduct's it is HR dept only which takes the decision and the comments from operations/production becomes futile or not entertained. Here the case is of Misconduct. In some Call centers ---Agents are straightaway conveyed for termination because of Misconduct. And this happens only by middle level HR's .No need to take permission from Senior Management.
Well Idea about circular is okay but generally such circumstances need to be tackled in not be reacting at 90 Degree.
Tikam Singh -Pune

From India, Pune
Just one point please!
Legally speaking no one can terminate any employee if he is of a lesser rank than the one who appointed the concerned employee.
Signing a dismissal letter or a charge sheet does not mean the authority to terminate someone's employment.
In my personal and professional opinion if in a call centre an employee is sacked by HR, one will have to examine the terms of employment of the employee and the authority formally vested in HR without agreeing or disagreeing with the statement made!
In any case, what I said was "generally". It was NOT an absolute statement! As HR don't let us go overboard with the so called "authority". We are a service function and that's it!
September 12, 2007
From India, Pune
hi you just told your emplopyee that 'people are hire on their skills but fire for their behaviour' remember that. Sumit Executive HR
From Qatar
It all depends what kind rapport HR has with employees.
Personally I faced same situation, I was told to terminate one of the employee on immdiate effect with out notice period.
What I did is, I told very clearing to that person that it was management and HR decision.
Also i explained the reasons for termination.
And communicated with other employees(formal communication) to make understand on what grounds we had taken decision.
When one employee is terminated, it effects entire company specially his/her colleague, probably others feel inscure abt their job.
By simple communication you can make them understand and had to give assurance regarding job security.
From India, Mumbai
It seems that you were in a haste in terminating the employee. Most of the HR's assume or presume, Termination is the only Solution for all the problems & threats occurring from an employee.
Referring to your case , i opine that , neither circulars or termination would have done any good but retaining an employee and moulding them to the organization requirements, is the challenge a HR faces.
From aftermaths, you cannot rectify the past but can absolutely design or shape the future in par with your desires. Gossipers shall never change their attitude irrespective of the place or the target person they gossip on.
So create a friendly atmosphere and maintain your credibility without bothering on others gestures.
An HR should be a Psychologist and not Psychopath.
From India, Bangalore
I am speaking from my personal experience:

1. A circular, mass email or any similar form of communication, that reaches all employees, certainly helps make the employees understand the situation leading to the termination of services of an employee, especially since such a measure is generally considered too harsh a form of punishment.

2. Whether HR Head has to power to fire an employee or not will largely depend on the authority vested on him/her by the top management and the level of the HR Head, and hence will vary from organization to organization. However, I feel it better not to give other employees a feeling that 'HR' fired the employee.

3. A single fired employee cannot send out signals to all others that the organization has a hire and fire policy, unless the actions of HR department (actually that of the management) in the past has already resulted in the employees feeling insecure.

4. Having sent out the circular, it is best that the issue be left alone to die a natural death. It will, sooner or later. Induction process can certainly be used to build confidence in new joinees about the employee friendliness of HR, but remember, actions speak louder than words.
From India, Mumbai
Dear Dev,

Lot has been written and is not only educative but also eye opening. I have some basic observations. Instead of sorting out each incident as a stand alone one, some fundamental issues need to be in place.

Can we use this incident to have a very simple code of conduct in place, to be issued to all on rolls and to the new inductees. This code needs to follow general expected behaviour of an average individual in the society.

If already in place is it being implemented in letter and spirit?

Issue of circulars etc encourages slug fights where in the energies get focussed on non essentials. Damage control, instilling confidence, with full backing of management is required.

I would suggest to ignore the entire incident, and as suggested by a number of friends, a positive flow of information to all the employees, interaction and correct projection of HR Dept will change the atmosphere.

By continuing to react are we not playing in the hands of the said disgruntled ad fired employee????

Best Wishes

From India, Hyderabad
Though a CIRCULAR could help in conveying this issue to the employee, it will not really give a good impression. As a HR, I feel certain issues could be solved in a very different way that approaching the problem as it is.
In this issue, if a cirular is to be sent, the problem has to be told directly to all employees. which is note really required. A TRAINING session can be arranged with a topic which can indirectly covey the message to the employees that the issue was done for good. This will serve multi purpose.,
1. Employee will understand the problem,
2. HR can convey it by themselves as they are familiar with this issue.
The TRAINING can be on any softskill head which can include this issue as a case Study.
Hope Am right :) !
From India, Madras
After reading the reaction of the members to various suggestions, I read the whole series of comments once again, and felt that the slight differences of opinion are because of the fact that none of the writers are aware of the size of the organization in question. I would, therefore, like to clarify my suggestion, which was based on presumption that the company is fairly large is size, and hence the effective medium of communication with all the employees would be a circular/mass email. But if the organization is small in size, where all of them can be addressed in person by the HR Head, she can probably achieve the same results, probably with greater success. And she does not have to convene a meeting specifically for this purpose, but could use any occasion when all or majority of the employees gather together.
From India, Mumbai
In my experience, indirect messages don't always work. Human beings are notorious for not getting "it". Indirect messages are also subject to multiple interpretations by different people.
Which is why a clearly worded circular without any ambiguity will be more effective than a By the way - including the topic as a case study would be a good idea for a college lecture or a session on employee communication for the new HR team members.
From India, Mumbai
it was really intriguing !!
To instil the confidence in HR, i guess the functional managers can play a prominent role. At the outset, the extent of interactions of functional people (engineers) with the HR team is limited to the extent of supportive actions.
The functional manager to whom they report and interact can throw lights on truth of the incident and can bring back the confidence levels. If the manager's interpersonal skills and acceptance levels are high, he would be able to make the team understand of the nuances of firing - the led situation and resultant actions.
employee communications through code of conduct is an objective to achieve and as such cannot play a role in conivincing the rest of the crowd, as the malignancy is spread by an ex-employee who also would have been abide by the same policy statements and measures for termination processes
This is my view
From India, Bangalore
Dear Mr. Samvedan,

Sir, as per your suggestions I had sent the circular to all the employees. The circular was in the same format you sent to me.One of the employee responded to the circular and has written the mail to HR and here is the original mail of that employee, The employee is the senior one, please see his mail below and let me know what he is thinking and what he wants to know. It seems he is the culprit and driving that indiscipline . But, he is keeping quite in all situations.

Please see his mail he sent to HR after getting the circular.

His mail to HR was like this..........................



I am not able to understand the exact meaning of this mail, If you feel

that there is some kind of misconduct or misbehave is going on then please specify.Moreover what kind of interference you think we are having in the company activities.what I personally believe that I am doing my work according to myself and I am not disturbing any of company's policies, discipline or any otherconcern activity.I think every person has its own way of doing his/her work.

Actually until and unless an employee will find comfortable in the working

enviroment he/she will not be able to perform or will not be able to give

his/her best performance, so either you restrict the employee from doing

his/her work according to himself/herself or you can provide the employee

such a cosy enviroment in which he/she likes to work with in itself.

That is what I think Employee Satisfaction. ""

What do you think? he is with those ex-employees and the driver of the indiscipline......?

Kindly suggest and guide me to handle this situation.

Warm regards

From India, Gurgaon
New employees can be moulded either ways.It would be the failure of the HR dept if the employees take it away from you and convince the new joinees against it.
The HR must maixmise their interaction with the new employees and you must take due care that the old employees who are not spreading the message mustnot feel isolated.
Santosh verma.
From India, Bangalore

This is excellent!

The author of the mail may or may not be the driver of the indiscipline. In any case he does seem to have gone on the back foot and palyed a defensive stroke-for which there was no need!!!

Rest of what he has written are his views and you must respect them as his individual views. The single response points where to the malice may be located. But this is NOT the time to go into all that.

You may reply the mail simply saying that his views are noted and would be helpful in future. Do not join issues. Do not question the person. Do not even talk about his mail to anyone.

Rather work to reinforce the image of HR for its balance, transparency, objectivity blended with compassion when necessary and above all try and be a confidant to all. And all this you must convey and convince through your actions and decisions and NEVER through any circular or even a Training Programme.

Now do not generate or encourage any discussion on the episode and having received valuable insight, let the matter die a natural death. The future is the time to build credible HR culture in the organization. Device palns and programmes to achieve that objective.



September 13, 2007
From India, Pune
conduct an ER activity,,,, make employees feel good, start some good initiates, publish a sexual harrassment policy, grevance addressal procedure.
Conduct a townhall and make your VP to talk.
warm regards
From India, Bangalore
I think you should nt worry too much about the negative propaganda, the more you get into it the dirtier you become, and about the existing and new joinees concentrate more on orientation and motivation by projecting the positive side of the company without ever mentioning the bad episode and i am sure in due course they will start forgetting
From India, Madras
Thanks for all your suggestions and that I am implementing and I hope things will come in to place soon.
I am really thankful to all of you helped me on this issue.It was really a challenge for me to save the face of the HR.
From India, Gurgaon
Good Day,
I 'm very happy to see your above comments to the subject issue.
I'm a new memebr & i was just having a glance to the forum & suddenly I thought to read this issue.
You have replied in very diplomatic & professional way, Keep it up Sir.
Very few peoples are in this world who help eachother to solve the problems.
You have solved the issue with good solutions.
Best Regards,
From Saudi Arabia, Jiddah

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