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炒鱿鱼的学问:雅虎解聘门启示录

 Katherine Reynolds Lewis 2011年09月14日

雅虎CEO卡洛尔•巴茨被突然革职,同样引发热议的还有她致全体员工的那封声明邮件,邮件的内容过于直言不讳。在如今的职场,到底要怎样解聘一名员工才算体面?

卡洛尔•巴茨

    雅虎(Yahoo)CEO卡洛尔•巴茨“在电话中被解聘”,巴茨随即通过群发邮件大倒苦水。这一事件发人深思,在这样一个公司全球化、工作环境虚拟化的时代,职场人士如何拿捏行事的分寸?

    雅虎董事会未经任何面议程序就解雇了巴茨,甚至连一次电视会议都没有召开。这样的冷遇是否对这位前任女CEO太过不公?而巴茨在致全体员工的邮件以及随后的媒体采访中炮轰董事会,这样的反应是否会让她显得鲁莽而缺乏职业素养?她的职业生涯是否会从此一蹶不振?

    “大部分人会认为巴茨的处理方式欠妥,但或许巴茨自有一套办法来自如应对。”亚特兰大求职导师、《职场社交制胜秘诀》(Social Networking for Career Success)一书的作者米丽娅姆•萨尔皮特说,“不过,我认为她处理个人声誉和职业形象的做法对其他人没有借鉴意义。”

    这一事件突显了美国企业界一直在演变的用人规则。无论是企业高管,还是职场菜鸟,公司员工都越来越在意自己的职业声誉,生怕遭遇突然解聘会影响到自己的职业形象、业界人脉和未来发展前景。

    职场专家称,上一代的企业员工与企业分道扬镳时,也许已经习惯了默默接受公司给出的拙劣托词,但如今的职场人士却更加老练世故,面对解聘的通知,他们更善于仔细推敲如何对外公布这一消息。

    “事情已经闹得沸沸扬扬,在这种情况下,说明自己这一方的情况非常重要,”萨尔皮特说。公开爆光公司的丑事并非明智之举,因为这样做只会使人怀疑你的判断。但是,“和好朋友倾诉一番,倒倒苦水倒是个不错的主意。”

    萨尔皮特还谈到,她建议对一切可能导致解聘的单方面原因负责——但同时要阐明雇主不切实际的期望值以及不在个人控制能力范围之内的因素。她还说:“人们总是同情并认可勇于承担责任的人。”

    雅虎董事会应当重新温习如何正确使用多样化科技手段实现与管理层以及员工的交流,北美咨询公司DEGW董事总经理乔治亚•柯林斯说,“这起事件证明了这样一个事实,也许我们之前的做法并非完全正确。至少现行的商务教育和企业培训项目对这个问题的涉及还不够深入。”

    举例说,就算雅虎董事会主席罗伊•波斯托克无法亲自当面解雇巴茨,安排一次面对面的在线会议总不会太难吧?或者至少提前打好预防针,也让她感到公司对她过往的一片心血和辛勤工作不乏感激之情?“我们总是习惯性地采用最简单的方式,效果却常常很糟糕,”柯林斯说。

    Both the firing of Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz over the phone, and her subsequent mass email sharing the ignominy, raise questions about appropriate workplace behavior in an era of global corporations and virtual workforces.

    Did the Yahoo (YHOO) board treat Bartz badly by neglecting to terminate her in person or at least via video teleconference? Was Bartz rash and unprofessional by blasting the board in an email to the entire Yahoo workforce and subsequent media interviews? Can her career ever recover?

    "She may be able to overcome what many of us would consider an inappropriate response," says Miriam Salpeter, a job search coach and Atlanta-based author of Social Networking for Career Success. "I don't think her reaction should inform anyone else's way to handle how they are managing their personal reputation and professional brand."

    The situation highlights the changing rules of engagement in corporate America. Increasingly, employees from the entry level to the corner office are worrying about shaping their professional brand and how a sudden departure will affect their image, work relationships, and career prospects.

    Where a previous generation of workers might have gone along with the thin subterfuge of a mutual parting of ways, today's sophisticated professionals would do well to carefully plan the messages they send in the wake of being fired, say career experts.

    "In a high profile situation, it's important to put your own spin on it," says Salpeter. Don't air the company's dirty laundry in a public declaration that might cause people to question your judgment. Still, "talking to close contacts and sharing that information is not a bad idea."

    In those conversations, she advises taking responsibility for anything on your part that might have led to your termination -- while putting it in the context of any unreasonable expectations or circumstances beyond your control. "People value and understand someone who takes responsibility," she says.

    The Yahoo board should brush up on the appropriate uses of various technologies for conversations with management and staff, says Georgia Collins, North America managing director for consulting firm DEGW. "This incident speaks to the fact that we maybe haven't quite got that right. It's probably not ingrained enough in our business education or corporate training programs," says Collins.

    For instance, even if Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock couldn't fire Bartz in person, could he have arranged a virtual face-to-face? Or could he have prepared her better in advance, so that she felt that her feelings and past hard work were appreciated? "We frequently default to what's easiest, and often that's not best," Collins says.

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