How to handle layoffs? This is a pretty tough question. Layoffs are an unfortunate reality for many businesses. They can be tremendously challenging for both the employees and the human resources (HR) professionals responsible for managing them. When faced with the difficult task of supporting workers, it is essential for HR professionals to know how to handle layoffs, as it will help minimize the negative impact on the affected employees and the organization as a whole.
This guide will help HR professionals navigate this challenging process and ensure that support is provided effectively to all parties involved.
Before we talk about how to handle layoffs, let’s first understand the situation. The word ‘mass layoffs’ is becoming more common these days. It is a trend that seems to continue for a while. Especially in the tech industry. So far in 2023, about 130,000 tech workers in the U.S. have lost their jobs in large-scale cuts. Also, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has announced that it will fire 10,000 employees or about 13% of its staff this year. Employees who face layoffs may feel many emotions, such as shock, anger, disbelief, and anxiety. Besides that, layoffs can affect an individual’s career and financial security for a long time. Layoffs can also impact the community.
When a company fires many employees, it can hurt the local economy. For example, if a big factory shuts down and fires hundreds of workers, the local businesses that depend on those workers’ spending may also struggle. HR professionals should think about how layoffs can harm the organization’s reputation. Layoffs can damage the company’s image and make it hard to attract and keep top talent in the future. It’s important to explain the reasons for the layoffs and the steps the company is taking to avoid similar situations in the future. It’s also important to think about how layoffs can affect the mental health and well-being of employees. Losing a job can be a traumatic experience, and it’s important for HR professionals to provide resources and support for those who are affected. This can include access to counseling services, job training programs, or financial assistance.
Proper planning is critical in managing layoffs, and HR professionals must take a proactive approach to prepare for this difficult situation. Here are some tips to consider when it comes to how to handle layoffs:
When developing a layoff policy, it's important to consider the needs of the company as well as the needs of the employees. HR professionals should work with management to determine the specific criteria for selecting employees to be laid off, such as job performance, seniority, or departmental needs. It's also important to consider the impact that layoffs will have on the remaining employees and the company culture as a whole.
Layoffs can be a legal minefield, and HR professionals need to ensure they are in compliance with all relevant regulations. Consulting with legal and financial advisors can help reduce the risk of lawsuits and ensure that the company is following all necessary procedures. It's also important to consider the financial impact of layoffs on the company, including severance pay and unemployment benefits.
Effective communication is key in managing layoffs. HR professionals should develop a detailed communication plan that outlines the reasons for the layoffs, the process for selecting employees, and the resources available to affected employees, such as career counseling or job placement services. It's important to be transparent and honest with employees throughout the process, while also respecting their privacy and confidentiality.
Layoffs should be a last resort, and HR professionals should explore all possible cost-saving measures before resorting to layoffs. This might include offering voluntary exit programs, reducing work hours or salaries, or implementing temporary furloughs. These measures can help minimize the number of necessary layoffs, while also demonstrating to employees that the company is committed to minimizing the impact of the layoffs.
Layoffs can be a challenging time for the company, and it's important to have a plan in place for maintaining productivity and efficiency. HR professionals should work with management to develop a comprehensive plan that outlines the roles and responsibilities of remaining employees, as well as any changes to workflows or job responsibilities. This can help ensure that the company continues to operate smoothly during and after the layoff period.
By following these tips, HR professionals can help manage layoffs in a responsible and effective manner, while also minimizing the impact on affected employees and the company as a whole.
To know how to handle layoffs with efficiency, you need to keep in mind that open, honest, and compassionate communication is key during a layoff process. HR professionals should consider the following steps to ensure clear communication with employees:
The next aspect of how to handle the layoffs is, as an HR professional, you must offer a range of support services and resources to help employees navigate the aftermath of a layoff. This can include:
During the layoff process, HR professionals should make an effort to minimize disruptions and stress for both laid-off employees and those who remain. Some strategies for achieving this include:
Once the layoff process is complete, HR professionals should focus on helping both laid-off employees and the organization as a whole move forward. This can involve:
When it comes to answering the question ‘how to handle layoffs’ with technology, it can play a valuable role in reducing the impact of layoffs on both employees and the organization. By providing access to tools and platforms that support remote work, collaboration, job searching, and skill development, HR can help employees maintain productivity and prepare for new opportunities.
One of the most important tech tools that can help recruiters and companies tackle the impact of layoffs is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). An ATS is a software solution that helps source, assess, track, and hire candidates faster and more efficiently. It can also help manage the communication and feedback with the laid-off employees, as well as the internal and external stakeholders involved in the process.
An ATS can help recruiters and companies handle layoffs in several ways:
One of the best ATS solutions that you should look into is Manatal. It is a sophisticated, easy-to-use, and cloud-based ATS that helps companies achieve digitalization and seamless integration with LinkedIn and other job boards. The team at Manatal is very supportive, helpful, and prompt in their replies.
Here are some of Manatal’s features that can help recruiters and companies handle layoffs’ impacts effectively:
The final step in the ‘how to handle layoffs’ playbook is to rebuild a positive organizational culture that fosters trust, collaboration, and growth. HR professionals can do this by:
Layoffs are never easy, but by following this comprehensive guide, HR professionals can provide support and resources to help workers navigate this challenging time and emerge stronger and more resilient.
Start a 14-day free trial with Manatal now and learn how its cloud-based recruitment platform can help guide you through how to handle layoffs while minimizing the impact.