Because of the coronavirus, the economy is hurting and your business may be too. Business owners may have to make some tough decisions, including reducing employee hours or laying off employees. We know these decisions are incredibly difficult and are never taken lightly. While the news of a layoff will never be easy to deliver, there are some ways you can handle necessary layoffs with empathy:
Before it even comes time for layoffs, you should be transparent with your employees about the reality of the situation in your organization. Most people want to feel secure and know what’s coming. If you anticipate having to have layoffs, don’t tell your employees otherwise. You may think that you’re sparing them worry, but they’ll really be blindsided and feel lied to if layoffs do happen.
Additionally, when layoffs happen, be very transparent with the employees getting laid off. Make sure they understand why you chose to lay them off, what kind of benefits and severance they can expect, and that they were appreciated.
Although it might feel easier for you to lay off your employees in a business-toned email, it will not make it easier for employees. Take time to show emotion while laying employees off. Emphasize the employees’ contributions to the company. Showing you’re human can make it easier for employees to accept that the layoffs were necessary and not personal.
Address Employees Individually
Employees who are being laid off may react with a range of emotions. It can be shocking, disruptive, and confusing. Privately speak with each employee to help address their individual situation. Try to answer all of their questions and address all of their concerns. Consider creating a support network for those that have been laid off to help them get their bearings.
As our world changes, layoffs may be necessary to keep your business afloat. Use this advice to help you handle layoffs with the empathy your employees deserve. And if you need help, you can always reach out to the HR experts at Helpside for more advice.