Running a business isn’t all daisies and rainbows. There may come a point in time when your startup may hit several snags, most especially when dealing with people.
One of the worst things that a lot of business owners experience is mishandle their employees to the extent of going through grievances, labor cases, or termination. Although employee layoff is not uncommon, it’s not necessarily easy.
If you want to get away from the stress and horrors of layoff fails, stick around and read below.
Techniques for a Smooth Layoff Process
1. Announce the plan early on.
An event such as a layoff – especially when it may involve a significant amount of the workforce – should not surprise your employees. As soon as the direction has been set and the proper communication plan has been formulated, set up a meeting with the entire workforce to announce the layoff.
Of course, by then, you should already have a strong HR management team that will carry out the plans. Employee termination is as much of a responsibility for HR as hiring new workers and managing compensation and benefits.
2. Consult a professional.
If it’s your first time to let go of some employees, make sure that you know all of the considerations before talking to the workers in question. The fastest way to understand these things is to learn from HR-centric companies such as getfive.com to help you go through the specifics of making the big decision.
It might also be best to reach out to a lawyer – preferably one who practices in labor laws – so that you have your legal bases covered.
3. Know the right time to announce the decision
Try to avoid laying off employees right before a high-expenditure season such as Thanksgiving or the holidays. But if you can’t avoid doing so, you might as well tell the affected employees early on (say, the last week of November). That way, they can spend their last remaining weeks to plan their purchases well.
In the same fashion, don’t put a lavish office party and the mass layoff around the same time. Otherwise, the supposedly happy event will be received in bad taste. If you really need to celebrate something – like a company anniversary or an employee appreciation party – keep the festivities simple but meaningful.
4. Don’t put pressure on remaining employees
Layoffs aren’t easy for the people who will remain in the office. They will definitely miss the workers whom you recently laid off, and they’ll receive the brunt of work left to do.
As the company owner, try to be more understanding of the remaining members of your workforce. Give them a few weeks to adjust to the loss of employees, and start afresh on a particular date.
5. Understand that a layoff is never easy for anyone in the office
One huge reason why employers fail to conduct a proper layoff is the idea that the worker will simply take the decision without question. That’s so far from the truth – in fact, this kind of decision needs careful planning and sufficient communication to get the message across.
Some of the worst mistakes when laying off employees include failing to announce the layoff, arranging bad severance packages, dismissing legal ramifications, and simply being heartless.
Bottom line, make sure that everyone in the office knows about the planned layoffs. Never dismiss its impact, but don’t make too much of a fuss about it either.
In short, look for the fine line between professionalism and compassion. That way, you can skip the headaches and heartaches of letting some of your employees go.