no one there Good Way to let go of employees. But recent layoffs at tech giants show there’s definitely a Wrong way to do it.
when twitter recently let go about 50 percent Number of employees, former employees, and experts in mass shooting operations , Many of the affected employees did not learn of their termination in writing or from Human Resources; they found out they were let go when they His company email. Others, who were vocal critics of new CEO Elon Musk’s direction for the company, on social-media platforms. Later, several prominent officials resigned,
Twitter is an extreme example of how not to handle layoffs, but many companies fail to provide the transparency and resources needed to properly manage the situation. Leading with empathy and clarity can help bring relief to employees affected by layoffs—and keep remaining employees feeling respected.
The effects of handling layoffs poorly can have wide-ranging consequences for businesses. Research has found that cutting just one percent of employees can lead to a more than 30 percent increase in voluntary departures the following year — and it’s often because people don’t trust that more cuts aren’t happening because leadership hasn’t done a good job Communicating a long-term plan or strategy.
A random layoff approach can also contribute to a poor workplace culture because of the pressure it puts on remaining employees. For example, those still left on Twitter have pointed out that the loss of so many engineers has hurt, who struggled to keep the site running with little resources. Another study from Stockholm University and the University of Canterbury found that after a company layoff, survivors experienced a 41 percent drop in job satisfaction and a 20 percent drop in job performance.
There is also always the danger that neglected employees will face litigation. But David Zweig, a professor of organizational behavior and human resource management at the University of Toronto, says that if people are treated fairly and with respect while being very clear about the reasons for the cut, it moves in the direction of making people feel valued. Can go a long way – they will reciprocate that behavior in their response. “They’re much less likely to involve things like lawsuits or even physical or emotional dismemberment that can happen to people who really feel wronged,” he says.
However, businesses must ensure that they are familiar with the laws relating to layoffs and follow them, or else they may land in trouble. Twitter is now facing a possible class-action lawsuit Because their workforce in California was fired without the mandatory 60-day warning. The length of the required work notice depends on the jurisdiction: in OntarioFor example, an employee with eight or more years of experience is required to give eight weeks’ notice in writing of the termination of their employment contract.
Handling layoffs with respect really starts before the downsizing period. Companies must be careful to develop a positive workplace culture where everyone feels supported so that when tough times hit, employees are better prepared to weather the storm. “Codify your company’s purpose and values so that everyone understands the common goals of the organization,” says jane limCEO and bestselling author of Delivering Happiness beyond bliss, If and when downsizing occurs, leaders must ensure that those cuts align with those same goals. That way, team members are more likely to understand why layoffs should happen.
“One of my clients, Joe Cambaretto, CEO of National Bank Capital, did such a good job of fostering empathy and respect that an employee actually brought him coffee and donuts,” says Lim. They were eventually able to bring back the employees they had let go when business stabilized, and they are now growing as one of the top employers in their area.
Having a plan in place that can help employees transition more smoothly from job to job will also go a long way toward fostering a good relationship with the departing employee. “The past few years were difficult, and the layoffs are affecting the mental and physical health of many people even more intensely,” says Lim. expansion of health insurance, such as Facebook did When it laid off 11,000 workers earlier this month, it was one way companies can help. Other ways to ease the transition may include providing job search tools, personal reference letters and emergency financial assistance for employees in need.
“It’s really important to give outgoing employees information about things like severance, answer questions that are going to pop up right away, and give them the resources they need to recover,” Zweig says. “All those things help reduce the negative effects of being laid off.”