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Mismanaged layoffs can go ‘horribly wrong.’
The effect of mismanaged LAYOFFs on the remaining workforce and the effects, lack of management preparation, the human condition, and lack of mitigation strategies. We think that the problem with this article is that not enough managers or HR personal, know how to let a person go from their employment effectively. They sometimes don’t realize the impact that it has on the other employees morals. Also, that sometimes companies don’t take a closer look to make sure downsizing will be the answer to cutting costs like they think that it will.
Every HR or manager should be let go in their lifetime so that they know what it feels like. I believe that this statement holds tremendous merit because the best lessons in life are learned through personal experience. In order to adequately communicate life changing messages of sorts, it should be done by a seasoned manager. I will be very surprised if any company has a potential layoff learning path that will coach and train the management staff for these kinds of things. It is imperative to be sensitive to the individual being laid off as this will impact their livelihood significantly. I do agree that other options much is explored such as relocating or wage cuts before making the decision to lay off people.
Layoffs create uncertainty in the workforce causing loss of productivity in remaining the remaining workforce. The article addresses that a manager’s approach is paramount; we don’t disagree with this sentiment, but I don’t see it as a large of an issue as the author of the article. If a company is at a point where they are laying off employees, all other options should have been exhausted. The author writes the article from the position that managers don’t know how manage and that layoff are ineffective.
I agree layoffs are not useful, but an amount of respect or approach refinement is going to make the loss of income any easier; I compare that to putting lipstick on a pig. Trying to make a bad situation easier is often more disrespectful than being direct. Firing is something that is done privately and should be kept confident between the manager and the employee being let go. If a manager is letting, someone go for the right reasons the example should be evident to the employees as cause and effect; being held accountable for their actions. If the Manager is abusing their hiring/firing authority that would affect employee morale; forced silence, uncertainty, etc. Problem Solutions
The options that were covered in the group discussion I feel very informative. When it comes to releasing someone, whether it is a termination or a layoff, it was discussed if training for those types of situations would be suitable, or if one could even prepare to carry out something of that delicate nature. You can train someone how to do anything, but that does not necessarily mean it will be conducted in the manner it was taught. I think it all highly depends on the situation and the individual who is delivering the news to the employee.
The author’s best point is one of the best solutions; transparency. Managers should allow people the autonomy of reacting, working through, and coping with a layoff in their own way. Transparency is the most respectful approach that management can take as it shows them the truth of the situation and explains the steps being taken and why. I would add rather than trying to find another position within the company as suggested (the company is already struggling!?) they could offer employment assistance to other enterprises; communicate with other organizations in the same industry to identify openings that people would fit into well. They could put together a communications package that shows them what benefits are available, assistance programs, etc.