Do’s and Don’ts When Releasing Employees
April 5, 2023
Deciding to let go of employees is an emotional process for everyone involved. However, providing former employees with outplacement services can make the transition smoother and less stressful. At Career Partners International, our outplacement services offer support and resources for individuals looking for new employment. If you are one of the managers or executives dealing with laying off an employee, here are a few tips to consider when letting them go.
Do: Offer outplacement services
This is the most important step. Walk your employee through the available services and let them know how beneficial they are and how long they can take advantage of them. Explain that you and the company are committed to helping them through the transition. It will alleviate some of the stress and anxiety and helps maintain the morale of employees staying on.
Don’t: Rush the process
Don’t rush career transition services. Give employees adequate time to process the news and adjust to the changes. Many employees may have to make significant life decisions with families and partners. Giving them enough time ensures they are emotionally prepared to take advantage of the outplacement services available.
Do: Be transparent
Be upfront with your employees about the layoff and the reasons for it. Talking about the weather won’t help the conversation progress, but a clear explanation of restructuring or downsizing helps employees understand their layoff isn’t personal.
Don’t: Make promises you can’t keep
Be realistic about the outplacement services you can provide. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, such as guaranteeing a job. You’ll damage the trust between the company and the employees.
Do: Maintain communication
Keep the lines of communication open with your employees throughout the process. Provide regular updates on the status of the outplacement services and what they should expect next.
Don’t: Dismiss emotions
Losing a job is a significant life event, and employees will react differently. Instead of brushing it off, acknowledge and validate their emotions and provide emotional support as needed.
Do: Personalize the support
Tailor the available career transition services to the individual needs of each employee. A mid-level manager will have different requirements than a C-level executive. Ensure the services your employees are getting the most out of the services by keeping them relevant and specific to their skills, experience, and industry.
Don’t: Provide irrelevant support
Don’t provide irrelevant or generic support that isn’t specific to the employee. Trivial support isn’t helpful to anyone. It’s a waste of company money and will leave employees feeling unprepared.
Do: Keep in mind your remaining staff
Layoffs are hard for those that get let go, but they’re hard for those that stay as well. Once the process is over and done with, you’ll almost certainly see a drop in productivity for the remaining employees. Follow up on this difficult stretch with a plan. Let them know about retention and development opportunities they have access to and encourage them to take advantage of them.
Don’t: Forget the company’s reputation
Downsizing can harm a brand’s reputation if not handled correctly. Even the largest companies make headlines for laying off employees callously. Handle the outplacement process professionally and respectfully to avoid damaging the company’s reputation. Most importantly, remember that your employees are people and deserve to be treated with dignity.
Do: Go in with a plan
When getting ready to discuss termination with an employee, you want to be prepared. That means you want to have all the paperwork and information they need at your fingertips, including their termination letter, COBRA paperwork, a severance package if applicable, and a solid understanding of the legal criteria you need to meet when laying off employees. The more prepared and capable you are, the more confident your employee will be with your suggestions.
Laying off an employee is stressful for all parties. Throughout the process, the focus should remain on the employee and how you can best support them. At CPI, our outplacement services are an essential component of a company’s restructuring or downsizing process. Providing support and resources to employees throughout this process helps them successfully transition to new job opportunities. To learn more about the outplacement opportunities at CPI, contact us.