Handling layoffs must be done with clarity and compassion

Handling layoffs must be done with clarity and compassion

In what has become an increasingly common ritual during economic uncertainty, thousands of working Americans. Particularly those in the high-tech sector – are receiving pink slips. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella earned high marks for the way he handled company layoffs with empathy and thoughtfulness. It stood in stark contrast to Elon Musk, who last year dared scores of Twitter employees to quit, and the CEO of a real estate company who infamously fired employees on a Zoom call just before Christmas in 2021. I can relate, having just had to let some let some employees of mine go and reduce hours due to an unsuccessful business venture.

Thinking through that experience, there were some lessons that I learned about how to best approach situations like this. First, it’s extremely important to be empathetic, clear and compassionate in your communication and explain why it’s happening without sugarcoating the situation. Also, the person who communicates these messages should be somebody who is as close as possible to the people or person being impacted, not someone from HR or a third party who approaches it in a matter-of-fact way.

Sharing details about continuing health insurance coverage, severance pay and/or job referrals should be part of those conversations. In addition, employees who remain with the company should be informed of any changes that are happening to their particular roles and have any of their questions answered. Avoid at all costs the suggestion that they will be expected to do more with less and be sure. They feel supported both in terms of the culture and actual work that needs to be done. We all know how difficult it is to retain top talent, so leaders need to step up their game during austere times.

Amid uncertain times, here’s how leaders should respond to austerity
Ways for employers to help bridge the nation’s skills gap

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *