Breaking the news to an employee that their time with a business has come to a close is never an easy task. It can be stressful for you and your employee’s. Here are 5 strategies to help you communicate clearly and effectively and set your exiting employee’s up for success in their career transition
1. Create a Planning & Implementation Team
Once the redundancy decision has been made following the consultation process, It is important to carefully select who will be included in the planning and implementation team responsible for the successful management of the downsizing project. HR will need to liaise with managers to establish which departments and individuals are impacted.
2. Communication Plan
It is important to develop a communication plan outlining how you will inform impacted employee’s and the procedure you will follow. Key aspects to remember are:
- News should be broken to employee’s face to face, in a quiet, private place. If your impacted employee’s are working remotely and you need to deliver the news via video call, you should be prepared for them to turn off their camera and/or audio while you are delivering the news. While it might feel uncomfortable, give them some time to regain their composure and return to the call as opposed to leaving the call right away.
- Be prepared to answer the question “why me”. News of redundancy can be devastating. It is important to lead with empathy and show compassion, but also to illustrate clearly the business rationale for the decision to make roles redundant.
- Outline the support that will be offered to them including financial severance, career transition/outplacement support, employee assistance programme etc.
3. Arrange training for HR and Managers who will conduct the termination meeting
It is important that a consistent message is delivered to each employee. Set up training with those who are tasked with breaking the news. It will allow an opportunity to set the narrative, outline the logistics of the day, answer questions and address concerns. If possible, arrange for the President, CEO or most senior level executive to attend the session. This will reinforce how important an effective redundancy discussion is for both exiting and remaining employee’s. Take this opportunity to reiterate that the termination conversation should be handled sensitively and empathically.
4. Rehearse the Termination Conversation
Informing an employee that their role is redundant is never easy and it may come as a huge shock. Create a script and spend time saying it out loud so that you are more comfortable with the language. Be sure you hit all the key points. Job loss is one of the most significant losses a person can experience and it is important to handle the conversation sensitively. The termination meeting with the impacted employees will form a lasting impression of you, their manager and the company.
5. Provide Career Transition Support
Providing impacted employees with outplacement services will benefit the individual, the organisation and remaining staff members. The organisation’s reputation will be protected if the exiting employee’s feel that they have been taken care of. Redundancy, restructuring or redeployment can have a negative impact on the productivity, moral and retention of the remaining staff, if exiting staff communicate to their former colleagues that they feel they have been valued, it will create a positive mindset for those who remain. Outplacement/Career Transition support will assist those impacted with their career decision making, CV’s, job-search, interview preparation and career coaching. This will make the statement that you truly care about their future and well-being.
Career Decisions specialise in supporting Companies with Career Transition. We provide HR and the individuals in career transition with the tools, resources and coaching needed for success. From pre-notification strategy to personalized career coaching for impacted employees, we bring quality and reliability to every stage of career transition. For nearly 30 years we have supported companies of all sizes, across all industries to implement highly effective redundancy plans. We will support you with your unique requirements – be it 1 employee to 1,000+ employee’s – from planning stages, including manager termination coaching and training, through to project management and rollout of the career transition programmes. Your business brand will be strengthened, your reputation protected while enhancing retention and engagement of remaining staff. Career Decisions partner with HR in organisations to deliver unparallel results. We coach transitioning employees into new roles within or outside the organisation. Consistently, over 90% of clients secure jobs within 2 months – three times faster than the national average.
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