THE QUESTION: You are the CEO of a private company that is shutting down an entire division, because the product line has been fatally surpassed by the competitors’ new technology. While processing the layoff of all the division’s employees, Frank, one of your managers, asks you, “Al, do you realize that Lily is part of the layoff? Granted, her area of expertise doesn’t fit any other division, but she is still the daughter of one of our longest standing major clients.”
WHAT’S YOUR ANSWER?
A. You decide to keep Lily and reassign her to another division with different tasks, even if they don’t match her expertise.
B. You call your client and explain the unfortunate layoff, and that there is currently no job opening for Lily within the company.
C. You meet with Lily and discuss a job change within the company and explain the training process for it.
D. You schedule an interview with the manager of another division for Lily to discuss training for a new position.
WHAT’S MY ANSWER?
I picked D. You schedule an interview with the manager of another division for Lily to discuss training for a new position.
I picked this answer for a few reasons:
- Part of doing good business is keeping your clients happy. If this client represents a large portion of revenue/business, I think Lily would be an exception to the layoff. Something that would influence this point is how much business does this client represent… 60%, 20%, 5%? That would make a difference.
- I assumed she was a good employee. Skills can be taught. If she is a good employee and can pick up new skills, there is no reason not to give her a chance to positively impact the company in another department.
- Calling the manager shows that I respect his authority. If he doesn’t’ have room for her or doesn’t see a fit, that is his call.
Well, what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let me know your answer and why in the comments below.
Click here to read an evaluation of this Dilemma from Fulvio Di Blasi, a world-renown scholar in the field of applied philosophy and business ethics.