Layoffs have become necessary today for companies who are faced with declining sales revenue figures. This also becomes necessary in times like today when the business environment is very competitive and uncertain. In such a scenario there is a way to handle layoffs which has been presented in this article.
Ways to handle layoffs
Every good manager who cares for his team dreads the thought of asking his team members to go. Every good manager who has empathy in his heart will hesitate when handling his employees the pink slip. Presented here are some tips for all those managers who have to act as “terminators”.
· Do your homework on the business needs of the reduction
Transparency is the buzzword when you are handing out pink slips during a recession. It will be much easier to explain to the employee the reasons for the termination. But this will require that you yourself are confident and certain about them. Therefore you need to do adequate research on the reasons why the staff reduction is taking place.
· Do thorough upfront planning and analysis
Choosing which roles will be affected and which employees to lay off will be a key deciding factor and a study of this will have to be done in advance before the actual date of termination. Due to labor laws being what they are, it is always better to consult both your HR and legal counsel to ascertain both the ethical and the legal angles of a termination or layoff.
· Review the separation package and think through the messages you want to convey
The actual meeting with the impacted employee being brief, you will want to ensure that you can convey to him the reason, timing and procedure of the layoff within that time period in such a way that he does not feel offended. For this you will have to make adequate preparation in advance so that you do not convey a wrong message to your outgoing employee.
· Be prepared for emotions
Invariably at such times, employees tend to get very emotional, shocked and sad. Conveying such decisions is always difficult and involves emotions on either side, the employees and the managers, who conveys the decision. Therefore it is advisable to involve your HR in the process so that he can handle any adversely emotional situation.
· Do not try to enter into a negotiation or debate
Some employees may request you to rethink your decision. They may tell you how they need the job very badly or how their performance is better than some of the others who are being retained. This is not the time for negotiation or debate. If you have analyzed the situation thoroughly and made your decision, it is best to stick to it.
· Tell the remaining employees of your decision as soon as possible.
At times the impacted employee will leave immediately on the date they are terminated. At other times, they may return to work for an intermittent period. In any of the above cases, the employee should be allowed to go home once the meeting to convey the termination message to him is over. At this time, it is better to call a face-to-face meeting of all the employees both of those who are terminated and who are being retained. Explain to them the actual situation in a transparent manner.