Radio Shack finds itself in the press for allegedly notifying employees of termination by email.
This was not unanticipated in the Radio Shack workforce, as looming job cuts were announced publicly earlier this month.
Ask anyone who has been involved in the unpleasant subject of workforce reductions (on either side of the table): how you tell someone is what’s remembered most. There is no perfect way, only the best of a number of challenging options. Face-to-face with a direct supervisor is not easy, but I think it is necessary.
Radio Shack may have been motivated by a desire to notify everyone at the same time to avoid a long day of agony as employees waited nervously for a phone call. Or they may have wanted those not on the list to know quickly that they were spared in this round.
But instead of getting business press focus for streamlining their business, Radio Shack is getting mainstream press focus on the method used.
One thing is certain: Radio Shack must be very confident in their IT department. Can you imagine how many times people reviewed that email distribution list before someone clicked the mouse?
Update (31 Aug 06): The AP report via the New York Times.