In the previous article in these series, it was reiterated that employee layoff is almost inevitable in a period of recession and we pointed out the steps to take to decide if an employee should be laid off or not.
In this article, we will be looking at the process to take to ensure that you layoff an employee and leave them with their dignity and self-respect intact because, face it, getting laid off in this period is not exactly a confidence booster.
Therefore, you must make them understand that they do not have a problem, but they are just a wrong fit for the position or the company.
Allowing emotions cloud your judgment is a wrong move because it is never a win-win situation. Admit that you made a hiring mistake or their position within the company is not pertinent and swallow the bitter pill.
In order to make the transition easier for the employee, follow the 3 steps below:
- Train them out of the organization
In the previous post, it was stated that under-performing or non-performing employees should be identified and then put on a rigorous 60-day training schedule if they are teachable.
Before the training begins, the objectives of the training and set goals should be clearly pointed out to them and during this training, you should be able to identify the employees that can be reabsorbed into the company.
The employees that have been identified as a completely wrong fit for their role should then be trained out. Follow the steps below to understand how to go about this process:
i. Begin by hinting to the employee that their current role might not be the best fit for them
ii. Ask the employee if there exists any role in the company in which they see themselves functioning perfectly
iii. If the answer to the (ii) above is yes, then evaluate if they have the requisite skills for that role and test them out there for a short period.
iv. If the answer to the (ii) above is no, then ask them to describe their perfect job role.
v. At this point, the employee will most likely not have a good answer to give and will begin to see that he/she is a misfit for the company.
- Let go of the corporate HR Rules
Many HR Managers feel that when they are breaking the news of a layoff, it has to be done with a straight face and stiff demeanour.
Let go of this approach at this point.
You are human and it is not a crime to let it show, do not focus on the reason they are being fired rather, focus on the best plan of action that will make their exit easier in order for them to move on with their lives faster.
This doesn’t mean that everything is fine as this person is losing their job As such, you should expect a few tears, an angry outburst or even violence.
Allow them calm down and let them say goodbye to their friends and colleagues, and treat with them with respect right till their last second in the office.
- Promise your support and give it
In general circumstances, when laying off an employee, it is typical for the HR Manager to extend a hand of support and completely forget about it immediately they are done with the unpleasant activity.
However, in this case, you should extend a hand of support and actually mean it.
This hand of support might be writing them a recommendation letter, and asking them what they want to be featured in this recommendation, referring them to someone in your network that might need the skills they possess, recommending other opportunities for them to build themselves, and more.
Of course, the individual might not actually take advantage of the support but if they do, do not hesitate to help them out. This assurance will make them feel valued and cared for.
If possible, give them a severance package on their exit. This can go a long way to help cushion the effects of being unemployed for a period of time.
Regardless of how it is described, letting go (laying off, downsizing or outright dismissal) of an employee is not exactly fun. However, following the steps below will ensure that it is done right and you will not end up with a disgruntled former employee that will spoil the company’s brand to anyone who will listen.
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