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Dear Workforce How Do I Tell Employees About Upcoming Layoffs

How should I tell my employees that there is a need for a layoff?
April 3, 2004
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Related Topics: Downsizing, Dear Workforce
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Dear Retailing:

Appropriately communicating a corporate downsizing requires preparation, planning, and persistence. Organizations need to approach the situation with dignity and compassion while clearly articulating the business decisions surrounding the downsizing to their workforce.
Some best practices to keep in mind while planning the communications with your employees:
Make sure that senior management is visible and accessible throughout the process. Employees most likely will have questions and concerns. They need to feel comfortable that the organization will provide an "open door" policy during a layoff situation.
Make sure your outplacement provider that shares your values. Your provider should understand your business and concerns so it can tailor a plan that specifically fits your needs and tailor outplacement programs for each employee.
Provide managers with separation-notification training. The separation process is difficult for the notified employees, but the managers communicating the layoff news also could feel extremely uncomfortable in this situation. Training managers in what to say and what not to say can help structure the situation ahead of time.
Communicate often and well with your employees. Open communication and tailored discussion around the business objectives surrounding a layoff situation throughout a downsizing can minimize the uncertainty, skepticism, and distrust within the retained workforce. Some companies find electronic newsletters, internal briefing sessions, and open discussion forums can lessen the angst and anger within a workforce.
Make sure your separated employees are quickly engaged in the transition process. Some companies find that providing transition counselors on site can ease the emotional strain that these employees may be feeling at that moment. These counselors (either on site or otherwise) also can provide your separated employees with quick access to the tools they need to immediately get their job searches off the ground.
Share transition success stories with all separated employees. Some organizations find that posting photos of employees who had landed positions can keep the workforce informed and even raise the morale of the entire group.
The key to successful communication throughout the entire downsizing or restructuring process is to stay focused on the people in your organization. Regular and consistent communication with your workforce will help both the separated and retained employees better cope and understand the business decision and the organization's concern regarding a layoff.
SOURCE: Ken Kneisel, Senior Vice President, DBM, Atlanta, Georgia, March 27, 2003.
LEARN MORE: ReadCalculate the Cost and Benefit of a Layoff.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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