Subject: You're fired

March 10, 2011, 12:18 AM GMT+0

The majority of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) believe dismissing an employee by e-mail is unacceptable, poll finds

New online research from YouGov’s SME Omnibus survey reveals that 98% of senior decision makers in small to medium business enterprises believe face to face to be one of the most acceptable ways to inform an employee that they are losing their job.

Other popular options for SME senior decision makers include the typed (31%) and hand-written letter (24%). 11% chose a phone conversation as acceptable. However, e-mail proved to be one of the least popular options, with only 2% choosing this option as an appropriate way of sacking an employee.

The questions were asked in light of recent news regarding a number of army officers who learnt they were losing their jobs by e-mail. The officers were given one year’s notice and advised to 'start planning their resettlement'. The Ministry of Defence later apologised.

Over half of senior decision makers (51%) questioned were outraged over the incident and felt it to be completely unacceptable. 46% were disappointed in the MOD’s decision and thought the army officers could have been informed in a better way. Only 2% thought that email was an acceptable way in which to inform the soldiers that they were losing their jobs.

YouGov’s SME Omnibus surveys 500 senior business decision makers in small to medium business enterprises on a monthly basis.

See more on the YouGov Omnibus service