Too many companies botch mass layoffs. Here's how they should approach them
When it comes to mass layoffs, there seems to be no end to the worst, most bungled ways in which some employees first learn they are being let go.
These all involve organizations blindsiding employees, leaving people feeling like their years of service and dedication meant nothing.
“People have to feel they’re being treated with respect,” said Sarah Rodehorst, CEO of Onwards HR, an offboarding technology platform for human resources, legal and finance teams.
(Google declined to comment, pointing instead to a blog post from the CEO on the day of the layoffs.)
It also destroys good will with outgoing employees, demoralizes the staffers left behind and could hurt the company’s brand reputation with potential hires, said Raymond Lee, CEO of CareerMinds, a virtual outplacement company.
“If you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off,” Garg said.
Even if you don’t give a lot of advance notice, give some once a layoff is ready to be executed.
Employees should receive a communication from the CEO or from division leadership that informs them layoffs will occur and offers them the business reasons for the decision.
Both Lee and Rodehorst stressed that employers should always aim to set up personal meetings for the affected employee with their manager and HR contact.
This ideally is done face to face, but if that’s not possible, a remote video meeting can work too.
You need to have a plan for how an employee can follow up and get their questions answered,” Rodehorst said.
By “small,” Lee means no more than 5 to 10 people, including a leader or manager they know who delivers the news.