Employers know they’re supposed to fire workers in person. Not only is it the right thing to do, it also prevents things like this from happening.
More than 1,300 employees at Aviva Investors were shocked to go into work one morning to find an email from Human Resources letting them know they no longer had jobs.
Fortunately for Aviva workers — and unfortunately for the company — the email was only meant for one employee, and a “clerical error” caused the shakeup to take place.
Aviva quickly went into damage-control mode, with HR issuing an apology and company spokesman Paul Lockstone releasing a statement that read: “It was intended that this email should have gone to one single person … from time to time, things go wrong.”
But by then, the story had already gone viral. Here’s a snippet from a story about the fiasco that was featured in The Telegraph, a United Kingdom newspaper:
“There was a stunned silence at the London headquarters as staff across the division read the unsympathetic memo – intended for just one employee. It instructed all Aviva Investor workers to hand over company property and security passes on their way out of the building, and submit all electronic passwords. The terse communication reminded staff not to spill any company secrets … Minutes later staff were relieved to receive a grovelling message from HR apologising for the blanket email.”