Layoffs Can Be Painful. Here’s How You can Do It


Deciding to lay off some of your employees due to the financial problems your company is facing is extremely difficult. In as much as you want to keep all of them, you just couldn’t. There are instances where laying off some of them is the only way to keep the business alive. Otherwise, the entire business would be affected. The process is painful, but it can be done using these tips.

Talk to them one on one

This is how you can make them understand your decision. There is no way to make the process easy or less painful. However, discussing the problem with them and letting them know the decision of the company will somehow ease their pain. They will gradually realize why some of them have to go and there will be no resentment in the end. This also makes them feel important. You have gone out of your way to individually discuss the problem.

Provide opportunity to say goodbyes

Some employees tend to be really harsh. They only inform that some will be fired by today and they are expected to clear their desks by tomorrow. You must let them say goodbye first. This is true if they have treated their fellow employees as members of the family. They are not second class citizens whom you can just kick out after firing. They are going through a lot emotionally. Letting them say goodbye to old employees will most likely ease their burden.

Give them time to look for a job

Job Interview

It always helps if you inform about the layoff weeks or months in advance. This provides them with the chance to search for a new job while they are still under the payroll of your company. They also have family members to feed. Their kids are also going to school. Cutting their source of income right away will also cut everything else off. You don’t want this to happen. You should go easy on them. They deserve better.

Don’t punish those who have negative reactions

Some of them might threaten to go to courts for being fired. Some of them would be violent. Others will go on a revenge hunt. You should not fight fire with fire. It will not do anything to ease the situation. Try to calm down and let them vent their anger out. They have the right to do so. Your actions might be fair, but it is not easy for them to understand. As long as they are not hurting someone or destroying your business’ property, there is no reason to drag this in court. Besides, it will just make your business look bad.

You can be humane while firing your employees. As long as you have valid reasons for doing it and you don’t make them suffer along the way, it is perfectly fine.

Photo Attribution:

Featured and 1st image by Bill de Blasio [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

2nd image by bpsusf ( [CC BY 2.0 ( or CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons