What to do after the layoffs: Supporting those left behind

Firms need to take care of remaining employees after downsizing
By Peter Block and Gal Wilder
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/16/2008

The economic turmoil shaking international markets has already left a trail of casualties in the economy as companies feel the pressure of lower commodity prices, depressed consumer spending and limited access to credit or capital markets. As a result, many will be faced with one of the most difficult issues for any company — laying off employees.

Announcing layoffs is never seen as good news (particularly by those receiving the pink slip), but while most organizations have processes for informing people of a termination, fewer companies have plans for how to communicate the news to remaining employees who can be significantly affected by the changes. And with a reduced headcount, it is all the more important to retain a motivated and productive workforce to help see the organization through to better days.

There are three important considerations for communicating with the remaining employees: What is said, when it’s delivered and by whom.