It’s unavoidable. Sometimes you just have to lay people off, and it can put real stress on the former employee and their coworkers who remain. Aside from mandatory rules and regulations from the Canadian Labour Code, the steps you take during a layoff can reduce the stress and ease your employees’ anxieties.
Hold Personal Meetings
Once you’ve decided who has to go, schedule quiet meetings in private areas where you have time to spend with each individual. Do this as far in advance from the layoff date as possible to give people time to adjust. Prepare for the meeting by gathering a packet of information about unemployment benefits and severance pay. Sometimes just showing people they’re getting money before you nudge them out the door can help. Explain in detail why you have to eliminate the job and why it is financially necessary for the company. If this is only a temporary layoff, be sure the individual knows this and explain how long they can expect it to last.
Explain Reasons Behind the Layoff
Wait until you notify everybody that’s affected by the layoffs, and then hold a meeting to tell everyone else. If you make a big announcement to the entire workforce of an upcoming layoff first, it’s likely to leave everyone wondering who is going to get the ax and the company can expect to experience downtime. Be honest and open and give legitimate reasons for the layoff. This provides relief to the remaining employees and less of a production loss.
Offer Job Placement
If you have the resources, help individuals find jobs with other companies and put them in touch with job counseling, resume workshops, and other resources to help them find employment. But don’t make promises you can’t keep. You can also offer a letter of recommendation if their performance warrants it. When you offer job assistance, you provide a service to your community and the employee leaves with good feelings of goodwill towards the company. This also reduces the chances of legal issues.
Provide Time for Goodbyes
Some companies make employees leave the premises right after you notify them they’ve been laid off. Treat employees with respect and give them time to say goodbye to coworkers. Also, use this time to your benefit. Let the workers stay long enough to train and transfer their job responsibilities to others. This saves money and ensures the transition goes smoothly.
Remember Your Remaining Workers
The workers who stay behind have to take over and fill the shoes of their former coworkers. They may also worry about their own job security. Communicate clearly about what you expect from each job. Also, be sure to let them know if there’s a chance of any further layoffs or how you plan to explore other alternatives.
Layoffs are never fun. As a manager or business owner, you can make the situation easier on everyone involved. Be sure to have a plan of action and always treat employees with respect. This lessens the blow on both the company and those who have to leave.