Blooper – Using e-mail to fire 1,300 employees . . . by mistake


E-mail is a wonderful communication tool!  A great way to communicate with numerous individuals simultaneously!  So easy to use!  All it takes is the push of a button . . . in this case to mistakenly fire 1,300 employees.

Bloomberg reports that the HR Dept. of the investment unit of Aviva PLC (the UK’s second largest insurer by market value) mistakenly sent an e-mail firing all of the unit’s 1,300 employees before retracting the message.  Recipients were instructed to turn over company property as they left the building and reminded of their obligation to safeguard the company’s confidential information.

It turns out the HR Dept. meant to send the message to 1 employee, not 1,300 employees around the world.

Aside from the addressing error that resulted in the message being sent to all employees in the unit, situtations like this highlight the need for organizations to establish and communicate rules on the appropriate use of e-mail.  Is it really appropriate to fire an employee by e-mail?

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That's A Lot of Records!
Often the requirement for a needs assessment is driven by a specific initiative being considered or an immediate problem to be solved, rather than a general desire to establish a corporate (or organization-wide) IM program. We had a client wanting to improve its management of a specific group of critical records – thousands of member files in paper, microform and digital formats containing hundreds of unique document types.
Assess, Plan and Schedule
Ergo reviewed the organization’s current practices for managing those records, compared those practices to best practices, and identified risks and areas for improvement. From there we developed a strategic plan with a focus on records storage and retention. The plan identified the operational, financial and technological requirements for implementing the recommended changes, improvements and enhancements in the lifecycle management of the member records. Activities in the plan were classified as short term (next 6-12 months), medium term (next 12-24 months) and longer term (next 25+ months).
Step by Step Success
Implementation of the strategic plan enabled this organization to ensure its member records are properly identified, organized, accessible, protected and retained as long as necessary to meet operational and other requirements.
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