How to Help Your Team During a Layoff

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Layoff can be stressful for everyone involved, even those who keep their jobs.

People who have lived to see another day are “lucky” to have done so. Or at least they think they are lucky until they understand that the world of work as they know it has changed forever.

During a layoff, handling the feelings and reactions of people on your team with different personalities can be hard.

Here are 8 ways to handle a layoff scenario with compassion and professionalism:

1. Be clear and straightforward: 

Talk openly about why the layoffs are happening, how the company’s finances are, and why the choice is necessary. Even when things are hard, being honest can help build trust.

2. Personalize your messages.

Remember that each employee is different and may respond differently. Also, change how you talk to them to address their worries and feelings.

3. Show you care.

Know that different people will respond to the news in different ways. Some of them might be upset, but others might be fine. Therefore, be sensitive to their feelings and give them a safe place to be.

4. Keep a professional attitude.

Stay calm and efficient during the process of being laid off. Even when you’re upset, how you act can set the tone for how others respond.

How to Help Your Team During a Layoff

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5. Give clear information.

Ensure the workers who will be affected know what will happen next, including information about severance packages, benefits, and any other available resources.

6. Talk to the remaining employees about what worries them. 

Be kind and understand that people will respond to the news of a layoff differently, depending on who they are and what’s happening in their lives.

7. Follow Up.

Check on your workers even after the first announcement. Give them continued help and information as they deal with this change.

8. Keep an eye on the workload. 

Even though fewer people are working to do the work, it still needs to be done. Avoid working the remaining workers too hard to keep them from getting burned out or tired, which could cause them to quit. You can do this by setting priorities and giving the most important jobs to the right people.

Remember that being a good manager during a layoff means showing care, respect, and understanding. Even though you can’t control how people will act, your method can greatly impact how your employees will feel overall.

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Anisa is a writer who focuses on career and lifestyle topics in an effort to motivate both job searchers and employers towards greater fulfillment in their professional lives.

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