Laying off a good employee is never an easy task, and getting laid off is never a fun experience. Unfortunately, circumstances such as financial difficulties, the need to downsize, or the phasing out of a position or department can create the need to lay off employees. If you are ever tasked with laying off an employee, try utilizing the following techniques.
Have a Plan
You must have a plan before laying off an employee. When drafting a plan, be sure it addresses the following issues:
What will the overall message be?
Who will be involved?
Will additional professional support or resources be offered?
Where will the message be delivered?
Without a cohesive plan in place, you risk delivering the wrong message and making an already unpleasant situation even more unpleasant.
When laying off a hardworking and dedicated employee, it always helps to be honest. Losing a job is painful, no matter how it happens, and lying to your employee will just add insult to injury. Try to emphasize the fact that the lay-off is solely related to company concerns, and it is not a reflection of their performance or the quality of their work. Assure them there is nothing anyone could have done differently, and the company appreciates their hard work and commitment. Be honest about the facts and your company or department’s financial circumstances. This can ensure an employee leaves with a sense of closure instead of resentment.
Offer to Help Them Find a Job
As stated above, losing a job under any circumstances is difficult, but as an employer or manager, you can ease your employee’s emotional pain by providing professional assistance. You can offer to pay for a session with resume writers for executives, or get them access to job assistance programs and other companies in the same field. Making phone calls, asking for favors, and utilizing a professional network can go a long way and show your employee you genuinely appreciate and support them. This benefits you as well, because paying for these things is cheaper than paying their paycheck each month.
Getting laid off can be traumatic on a number of levels, and you must remember this when delivering the final message. More than likely, your employee will be worried about their financial future and how they will provide for their themselves and their family. They may have envisioned themselves working for your company for a longer amount of time. Keep this in mind and remain sensitive to the feelings of your employee.
There is a possibility your employee may cry or become angry, so professionals suggest going in with an human resources professional to deliver the news since most HR professionals tend to have more experience handling such issues. Remain empathetic, listen to their concerns, and above all, avoid using a cookie-cutter termination script.
Choose the Right Time and Place
To be honest – there is no right or wrong time to lay someone off, but doing so in the middle of the day during a busy work week can backfire. Many professionals recommend laying off employees at the end of the day on Friday so the employee will have an entire weekend to process their termination. If you attempt to lay them off on Monday or Tuesday, the entire workplace will immediately notice their absence.
Conversely, if you must lay off an entire department, it can be best to deliver the message to everyone at once. If you are laying off a single employee, never make a scene or discuss the layoff with them in front of other employees.
Ease the Emotional Burden of Your Employee
Laying off an employee is almost never a positive experience, but there are steps you can take to ease the emotional burden faced by employees in such a situation. Learn more about our resume writing resources and various employment issues by visiting our website today.