Have seen someone whose employer closed the organisation two weeks ago, with everyone redundant. And yes, of course she has a job to go to. The really important message for anyone who is doing the same thing to their staff was this... personalise your thanks and farewell. The Board were so fixated on getting through the close down that at the end they congratulated the staff for a great success...... hang on.. this business has gone to the wall..... congratulations are slightly inappropriate (even if it was a huge relief for the Board). And then they thanked everyone ever connected with the organisation for all their work. So each and everyone of the current staff, who has had six months of wind down, who worked so hard to try and make it work, feels completely left down. Even the leaving gifts were left in box for them to help themselves! Each member of staff needed a few, well chosen and special individualised words.. not a lot... perhaps a recollection of some particular contribution, a funny event, a look in the eye, a firm handshake, an assurance that with their talents there would be a new chapter. Something!
It is too easy when project managing a big closure to forget that at the end of it all, those customers and staff are individuals.. and yes people will pull together to make it happen but individually they need a little, yes a a big would be even better, but a little goes a long way, of recognition of their individuality. Some thanks. A fond farewell.
So what could i do to help? No amount of praise or stroking from me was going make it better, that needed to come from someone else . So I taught her the Bottle Bank technique. When you're really angry about something you can do nothing about it can be really useful. Collect a lot of glass bottles and find a large bottle bank. One of the ones with holes in the side. find out which day it gets emptied. Take your collection of bottles and throw them through the holes as hard as you can. Put as much of your anger into the bottle and the throw as you can. Enjoy the wonderful smashing noise as it hits the floor. And as you throw 'shout (or think if there are people around, don't want you carted off by men in white coats) that's for ..... and name the object of your anger.
I love the bottle bank technique and it leaves you exhausted and purified. And no one got hurt!
She's off to empty a bottle or two for tomorrow's visit to the dump.
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