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One of the most unpleasant tasks of every employer or leader is laying off an employee. This is because it is likely to stir a lot of mixed and unpleasant feelings such as sympathy, sadness, and anxiety.

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Sometimes, laying off an employee might be for the good of the company; however, regardless of the situation behind it, chances are that you may still feel guilty laying off an employee.

There are several reasons for laying off an employee; it could be technological advances, economic downturns, business model changes, and acquisitions.

However, no matter the cause or reason for the dismissal, telling a worker that their services are no longer required is a difficult statement to make.

Sometimes, even after you have determined which positions will be eliminated, there are still many other details to iron out before utterly dismissing such an employee.

The first thing to do is to have a plan because if the dismissal or laying off is not carried out properly, the result can be devastating to both parties involved.

Steps to Laying Off an Employee

First, create a private, quiet physical environment in which to deliver the news.

It is wrong to deliver such news in the presence of certain individuals and a noisy or disturbing environment.

Be direct

Secondly, you must come out plain and direct while delivering such news. Get to the point quickly; do not beat around the bush with small talks. A quick and direct dismissal is the most humane way to handle a layoff.

Be honest

While you’re being direct with the layoff, it’s also important to inform the employee why he or she is being laid off, instead of concealing the reason, even if it’s for poor performance.

That way, such employees would know how to do better next time, regardless of the situation behind such dismissal, the truth should be told.

Be compassionate

As stated earlier, handling a layoff is one of the difficult tasks of a leader or employee because of the emotions involved.

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However, while laying off an employee, show compassion and understanding. Keep the employee’s ego in mind, because at this point it needs all the support and boosts it can get.

You can do this by praising the previous accomplishments of the employee while encouraging him or her to do better. Assure such employees that things will get better with time.

Most importantly, never talk about how difficult it is for you to make this decision because at such point, it is irrelevant and such an employee cares little or less about how you feel.

Provide outplacement assistance and support

While laying off your employee, your deepest concern and appreciation can go a long way to support such employees and build professional concerns as well.

You can show your concern for their well-being by offering outplacement assistance to such an employee.

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If your firm can do so, kindly provide outplacement services or job counseling to help reduce the weight and pain of the layoff on such employees.

As a concerned leader, you can go as far as providing letters of recommendation for a laid-off employee as this will be appreciated.

When you take the time to help the laid-off employee find their next role, it can make the transition a more positive one and leave the door open for future opportunities.

Moreover, this act alone shows that you are truly concerned about their future and well-being.

In conclusion, when it comes to laying off an employee, it is important to create a plan on how to go about it before the time comes.

This is because the experience of laying off an employee can be quite uncomfortable for you and the employee involved.

However, with these steps, it is easier to lay off an employee without feeling guilty about your actions.

Featured Image Source: Businessday.NG
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This article was first published on 4th July 2022


Grace Christos Is a content creator with a proven track record of success in content marketing, online reputation management, sales strategy, and so much more.

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