Don't Make Layoff Process Worse than It Already Is

Kachina Shaw

IBM is the latest large tech company to be facing significant layoffs, according to our Susan Hall, who wrote that ongoing cost cutting, including staff reductions, have played key roles in Big Blue's impressive earnings record.

Companies that have performed multiple staff reductions over a longer period of time face unique challenges in keeping morale and productivity up (alongside those earnings) among retained staff, but even a one-time layoff event is not to be handled lightly.

Once the decision has been made, allow sufficient time for planning and training of the staff who will be delivering the messages, and those who will be handling follow-up duties, from guiding severed employees through benefits to redeploying hardware. The amount of planning time needed will depend on your company's situation, but you can use these two documents to organize the process.

Layoff Checklist: Start with this checklist and add specific tasks related to staff preparation, completing a written plan, managing transfer of key files and employee access roles and planning a meeting for retained employees, or "survivors."

Employee Termination and Departure Checklist: This list, provided by Info-Tech Research, has some overlap with the first document, and adds coverage of communicating the employee's responsibilities to the company.

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