By: Jill Thompson
4 Strategies for Conducting Effective Layoffs at the End of 2020
As we head toward the close of 2020, the economic uncertainty brought on by this year’s events is far from over. Many corporations around the world are continuing to make tough organizational decisions that include restructuring and layoffs. While these decisions are made through a business lens, it is more important than ever to navigate this process with respect for the impacted employees. In other words, compassion, dignity, and just “doing the right thing" has taken on an even greater importance.
As a resource partner to many clients who have gone through a reduction in force this year, I have seen some best practices emerge. Progressive organizations are raising the bar during these difficult times. Here are 4 strategies that will help you “raise the bar" during your next organizational shift.
- Define your Planning Team. Downsizing is not a one-person job. Decide which stakeholders are needed in these decisions, including an employment attorney, as you plan the RIF. Things for the team to decide upon can include selecting the notification list, identifying the business reason for the RIF, and outlining severance and separation packages.
- Create your Communication Plan. In the effort of full transparency, many executives are sharing with their employees that organizational shifts may be on the horizon. First, you’ll likely want to decide what you will share with the organization before the announcement. Second, create the script that will be delivered to the impacted employees. Keep it brief and relay the business reasons for the reduction. And lastly, prepare a message for the remaining employees to be delivered after the notifications are complete.
- Prepare for the Day-of Termination. Create a schedule for the day, making allowances for the unexpected (i.e., someone will inevitably be out sick this day). Decide on a location for the conversation. If it will be in person, a private office is best. If circumstances dictate that the conversation needs to happen virtually, a video call is more personal than a phone call. Plan for exit strategies, gathering of belongings, and IT and security considerations as well.
- Utilize the Expertise of an Outplacement Partner. An outplacement provider can help with the logistics of the termination day by providing experience and objectivity. Partnering with an outplacement provider is one of the BEST ways to demonstrate that you care about your exiting employees’ well-being. Working with a career transition coach helps exiting employees gain a sense of control during a very emotional situation.
No matter the reason, downsizing is not something that should be handled at the last minute. Taking the time to think through this event will ensure the survival of your company, and leaning on an outplacement partner is a great business practice. Contact ICC today if you find yourself facing these tough people decisions.