Reflect What Effect the Layoff Will Have on the Staff that Stays
If your company layoffs practically everyone or just lays off 5 people, be sure to take the staff that is not being laid off into careful consideration. Chances are the remaining staff will be thankful they kept their job. They also may have worries and real issues that may have a direct negative effect on their actual work
The staff that is still with the company after the layoff logically will be concerned about the need to do the work they did before and the work of the staff members that are now gone. Additionally, they may be worried about more layoffs to come. Realistically they may be worried about being laid off in a second wave, giving them the motivation to start looking for a new job.
Remaining staff may be fine with taking up the workload of the laid off staff and are unconcerned about the company down the road after a big layoff. But, when more staff may quit their new expanded job due their concerns, the same staff that was okay about workload and the company’s future success, might become concerned and look for a new job, creating a ongoing treadmill of people quitting and a rehiring cycle.
Chances are your company will not have the operating capital to pay out ongoing bonuses to the staff member that did not get laid off, communicating directly and factually regarding the business’ chances down the road and how the reduction in staffing is a strategic component of the planned future of the company will provide the needed reassurances the existing team employees needs to stay committed and driven to do their best at their job.
Company Department Strategic Communication Plan
Companies often forget to create a strategic communication plan about company layoffs between company departments. Departments each have staffing needs and big layoffs impact the company overall and department wide.
Layoffs are crushing and when they occur it is critical for the whole company to be in concert about layoffs and how they are communicated about. It is important for each department to know ahead of time how, what and when mass layoffs will occur. Doing layoffs haphazardly is in poor taste, unfeeling and unprofessionally.
Companies absolutely must communicate impending layoffs from top to bottom, company division wide and department wide. Companies that don’t’ communicate layoffs the right way are headed towards a public relations disaster. With social media today, major layoff blunders, like laying off big groups of employees via text or internal email memo, can end up being negative public relations tsunami.
Good will, a positive image and strong positive brand are hard to come by. Companies absolutely need to do everything they can to protect all of them by conducting layoffs the right way. For companies that are laying off employees there is no perfect road map. But doing a mass layoff through the newspaper, or on social media or through a job board website will most likely create long-term destruction to one’s reputation. Layoffs done poorly may result in permanently lost customers, vendors, suppliers and customers.
Prior to communicating mass layoffs develop a strategic layoff plan that covers the layoff and how it is communicated to the outside world. Be sure that your company’s layoff plan communicates to all departments connected to the layoff and include the information they should be aware of about it. Factors to consider in communicating about the layoff include holding off on compensation news like bonuses, raises and promotion, how the employees layoff will be communicated, what will be communicated about the layoff and if severance pay should be brought up or not.
Be certain that all people and departments in the communication chain are on equal ground with respect to same facts about layoff. Communicating the same message about the layoff will ensure the facts are correct and that gossip is not part of the message.