How to Handle Layoffs and Keep Remaining Employees Engaged


Layoffs have been a part and parcel of corporate culture for a long time now and this is no recent issue. Any organization decides to go ahead with this move only to reduce costs. There are no second thoughts about this.
employee layoff quote

  • The best way a company can make a budget cut is to reduce its manpower and ultimately employees have to face the music. Though this is not any fun for the management, it is a necessary move.
  • Layoffs can be the resultant of new management, changes in technology or changes in the business models. No matter what, the employees are always the ones who get the other end of the stick.
  • It is important for any organization to manage these issues in a planned manner for a successful transition. Every move that can be helpful to both the leaving and the remaining employees have to be initiated.

Tips to Manage Layoffs

Let us look at a few tips that can help management deal with this issue.

  • Do what is right: It is important that the management takes into considerations other areas where they can manage cost reduction before jumping into their personal section. Areas like early retirement, costs of management et. should be looked into and managed before touching the employee’s sector.
  • Select the best possible: This can be very tough for the management. Who is to let go and who is to remain has to come down to an unbiased review system. Only a fair review can make the shortlisting an easy process.
  • Keep the legalities in mind: There should be a valid reason for terminating an employee’s service. Any discriminated decision could have legal problems. Thus, it is necessary to document a terminating decision properly to avoid any legal repercussions.
  • Communicate effectively: never should a particular employee learn about his upcoming layoff from his/her colleague. it is important that the employee is spoken to first and the decision is communicated directly.

Transitional help has to be provided: A proper transitional package that would include continual of the employee benefits like, health plans, pay for non-working period et. can relieve the employee’s pressure partially.

The remaining should be kept in mind: In a bid to pacify the outgoing ones, never forget the in-house employees for their morale would also be utterly diminished. Keep in touch with them from time to time and make them identify the reasons behind the move.

Employee layoffs are only a last minute resort for any organization and are not done unless and until necessary. Keeping in mind the public image and the employees’ views, the decisions have to be communicated effectively and the transition has to be well planned.

It is important for a manager to manage this morale effectively to get back to the way things were.

Tips to Boost Morale after Employee Layoffs

employee satisfaction
It is important to follow a certain morale-boosting procedure after layoffs to see that the workflow is not obstructed.

Organize employee manager meetings. Each organization has several departments. It is necessary for the manager to meet the employees of each department in turn. This way the employees get a chance to express their concerns over the existing conditions. This works better rather than having a buffer in between the manager and employees. Only after the manager notes the concerns of his/her employees in person can the in-between executives be given a chance to talk to the employees.

  • It is important to handle your employees reasonably. Knowing employee concerns could be mutually beneficial and employees either expressing or encouraging expression of concerns should not be punished seriously.
  • The employee must be made aware of the company’s financial situation. Also, they must be told the reasons and the circumstances behind the layoffs. This can prove to be a motivating factor for the existing employees.
  • Employees should be recognized and encouraged for their outstanding contributions. The awards need not be big ones but the recognition of the employee would also boost others and instill a feeling of working for the company’s good.
  • The company’s growth and progress each month after the layoff needs to be discussed with the employees and also the areas which need improvement should be dealt with using the positive results as motivation.

Employee layoffs can add to the stress and pressure of the existing employees as they feel that even their position in the organization could be uncertain. It is very important for managers to address such an issue straight away to ensure the organization’s development.


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