How Would You Like to be Let Go?

Every day the media reports on companies experiencing more layoffs. What techniques and styles do you think these companies are using to deliver the unpleasant news? A couple of years ago Radio Shack was in the news for laying off employees over email. Not the best way to create loyalty and foster trust among remaining employees or the media.

So we have to ask –

Simply put – How would you like to be told you no longer have a job? It is important for executives to demonstrate both heart and business savvy in their employee communications. Research shows that how an organization treats outgoing employees has a huge effect on the survivor’s company loyalty. On one hand, high performers may be relieved to see a low performer exit, thinking that the termination should have occurred much sooner. On the other hand, these same high performers may be making a value determination on the process and evaluating if the company’s actions are in line with their own notions regarding respect for others.

Communications should be straightforward, timely, and honest. If possible, a layoff should occur only once. Piecemeal cuts erode morale as employees grow nervous waiting for the other shoe to drop. Once a layoff occurs, it’s best to communicate often with employees on organizational progress moving forward. Keeping them informed, aware and connected to their role in the organization keeps them focused on their objectives and creates opportunity for new ideas.

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"My professional passion stems from a fascination with how the individual needs of employees, managers, and the business converge to produce an outcome. I’m driven by a desire to help leaders and employees find the balance between competing needs so they can work together to address the challenges they face."