Multilingual Business Communication

April 5, 2009

Fired by Big Brother!

Filed under: crisis communication, employee communication, Karen Decabooter, Uncategorized — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 1:54 pm

You're fired

Endemol, one of world’s largest television production companies, recently unveiled  a new generation of ‘spectacular entertainment programs’, including the reality show ‘Someone’s gotta go’. The current economic crisis is the source of inspiration of Endemol’s new reality show in which a SME is facing financial difficulties and therefore has to dismiss some of its employees. While Big Brother is watching them, the employees have to decide themselves who should be paid more or less. In the end, one of them is fired by his or her own colleagues.  The rights of the concept have already been sold to the American broadcasting station Fox. Luc Vrancken, TV director at Endemol Belgium, announces that there are no concrete plans yet to introduce this program in Belgium. He claims that legislation and Flemish discretion about pay and dismissals are an obstacle for success.

However, the concept of this TV show has already caused a lot of fuss and controversy. Trade unions cry blue murder and claim that dismissals are no entertainment subject and that good crisis and employee communication are necessary in case of dismissals. I understand their concern and I am also an advocate of a more careful approach in case of dismissals. Which companies will throw good communication principles to the winds and will participate in this sensation-hungry program?

(Karen Decabooter)



1 Comment »

  1. Apparently, when it comes to good communication principles and the decent way of announcing layoffs, some companies are already failing hugely. Jobat related the story of a Canadian beautician who was dismissed via Facebook. Her employer Susanne Woehie could not reach her by phone and found no other solution than to break the news on facebook. This kind of dismissal however appears not to be very successful as the unlucky employee thought it to be a joke, and she went to her job anyway. Woehie had also hired the beautician via facebook which might have opened the door to these kind of practices. This upcoming new reality show however, seems to stress the unhappy change in social codes.

    Vanessa Vanleene


    “Aangeworven en ontslagen via Facebook”, Jobat, December 2009, p. 13

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — April 9, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: