How to handle layoffs the right way
Dwindling consumer demand and slumping share prices have prompted swathes of redundancies in recent times. This is particularly true in the technology, finance, and retail sectors. The Evening Standard talks of the 150,000-strong redundancy ‘bloodbath’ of 2022. And 2023 has already seen large-scale layoffs from global giants including Salesforce, Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Disney, and Twitter.
Amid continued global economic uncertainty, should HR professionals here in the UK also be preparing themselves for the worst? While US firms have so far borne the brunt of the efficiency drive, British HR professionals say yes, absolutely. And if they have to let any of their staff go, they are determined to do so the right way.
According to the HR Exchange Network, there are 10 redundancy strategies that HR professionals should employ, the first five of which are listed below.
- Acknowledge that it will be painful for all concerned – for those being let go, for those who are staying, and for the messenger. Be transparent about the situation that necessitates the redundancies.
- Managers must remain objective when selecting positions to eliminate. Remember when sharing the news that its positions – and not people – are cut.
- Plan your redundancy process with great care. Ensure the selection criteria are clear. Will it be results-based or last in, first out, for example? If the downturn only affects one department, will it or the entire company face restructuring? Consider what talent, skills, and experience will be needed in the future and plan for likely scenarios. Document the decision-making process and get a sign-off from your legal team.
- Secure consensus across the leadership and management teams. They will need to present a united front with clear messaging to all stakeholders, including employees.
- Be respectful, kind, and compassionate. Treat every single employee like he/she is the only person affected. Everyone concerned deserves a private meeting with a manager, a chance to ask questions, and to be informed of any support available.
These are just five of ten recommendations from the HR Exchange Network. Please read the full article to explore how transition support, candid communication, resiliency-building, aligning goals and strategies with a long-term outlook, and engagement strategies are also helpful in this context.
Should you have to make any redundancies at your company, we hope that the above tips are useful. If it’s recruitment challenges that are currently front of mind, please get in touch. We have a vast pool of talented, experienced professionals on our books and we will quickly, cost-effectively deliver great candidates for all your open vacancies. Please get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7092 3911 to find out how we can save you time and money in your search.