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January 2017

Best Layoff Notification Practices

Best Layoff Notification Practies

About 2.7 million workers voluntarily left their jobs at the end of June 2015; however, many employees aren’t given a choice. Being fired or laid off can be a terrible experience, but when a company is dealing with massive cutbacks, it’s often unavoidable.

What can a company do to ease employees through a layoff?

Offboarding is extremely important to get through a turbulent transition like this. Displaced employees face a lot of uncertainty, especially since a job search typically lasts up to eight months and about 60% of workers have less than $25,000 in savings. This is where outplacement services come in.

Outplacement services include career coaching and essential job search tools to provide support to displaced employees who are worried about reentering the job market. Even just emotional support and resiliency training can do a lot of good.

One of the most important services offered to managers by outplacement consulting firms is manager notification training. Informing someone that they are being laid off is extremely difficult, but it is better for both parties when the manager has the necessary skills to deliver the message with compassion and confidence.

What is the best way for a manager to handle a layoff notification?
Telling an employee that they are being let go from the company is one of the most unpleasant management tasks. What is the best way to deliver the news? Here are two tips:

Tip #1: Be straightforward
Get to the point immediately. Don’t waste time with small talk because that will only make you and your employee more anxious and uncomfortable. You don’t have to deliver a long and drawn out speech. Simply tell them that their career with the company has come to an end and then give them whatever outplacement services materials you have to offer.

Tip #2: Show compassion
If you have been working closely with this person and have developed a good relationship, then you are probably feeling some genuine sympathy. It’s okay to show your compassion to an extent, but do not express your sadness. Never tell them how difficult the decision has been for you. It’s irrelevant and the employee probably doesn’t care about your feelings in that moment.

When a layoff is handled with respect and support to displaced employees, it can go a long way towards maintaining your business’s reputation. In this way, a strong offboarding process can have a huge impact on future hiring, retention, and customer relationships.