The Emotional impact of Job Loss

In various social media banter, I have noticed a discussion surrounding the ways in which employers are ‘terminating” employees.  Whether a terminated employee is walked out in front of their peers, being called into “meetings” unsuspectingly or being terminated without an opportunity to respond – the process has become too cold and too harsh.

Terminations or downsizing are a part of reality in today’s business world.   Every organization has the legal right to end employment.   However, every organization should be ending employment in a respectful manner.   For most of us, a job is the life line that enables us feed, clothe and provide shelter for our family.

The Supreme Court of Canada made mention about the value of work in the McKinley v. BC Tel case of 2001.  Says Justice Iacobucci:

“Work is one of the most fundamental aspects in a person’s life, providing the individual with a means of financial support and, as importantly, a contributory role in society. A person’s employment is an essential component of his or her sense of identity, self‑worth and emotional well‑being.”

Organizations must do a better job of realizing what a job is really worth.  It is not only about salary, benefits and perks, it is also about one’s emotional worth.   When an organization makes the decision to end one’s employment it should be done within the confines of the law and with compassion.

Yesterday’s news regarding the stabbing of four employees at an office in the 401/Yonge Street area has made many in Social Media circles revisit the issue surrounding the emotional/mental strain of job loss.

We certainly hope that the victims of this crime will have a full recovery.  And we hope that justice will be carried out swiftly to the perpetrator of this violent crime.  In one of my former roles, I worked with Ceridian Canada thus the news of this horrific act was more than a news story to me – it was personal.

While we do not know the complete circumstances of this case, the fact that the perpetrator of this crime was a former employee is troubling.  The investigation will provide us with further details into the mindset of the accused.   However, if we look at the larger picture – the discussion about the emotional impact of job loss must be discussed in greater detail across all sectors.

The Supreme Court alludes to this in the above mentioned case:

“not only is work itself fundamental to an individual’s identity, but “the manner in which employment can be terminated is equally important”.

Behind the statistics and reports there are real people who are impacted by job loss.   It is up to organizational leaders to deal with his matter with sensitivity and respect.

 

Blog post by Radcliffe Dockery

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Business & Marketing Development Professional who recently fulfilled a boyhood dream of owning a BMW! Sharing his experiences with his new BMW 535d xDrive!

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