How to Handle Layoffs
Deciding who to let go is probably the hardest part of the whole process. The best way to decide is to rate everyone. You should rate people not only based on skills that they have but also on how long they have been with the company and how they get along with other people.
If an employee doesn't have good skills or isn't good at their job, then of course they should be let go. However other factors are important if someone is competent but they need improvement it might be good to still keep them, as long as they are willing and able to learn. They also have to provide other valuable assets to the company. It just depends on how many people you need to let go and how many people there are that are the obvious choice to be let go.
Sometimes firing the people who make the most and that can be replaced by someone who would be paid less seems beneficial but that's not always the case. Someone who has been with the company for 10 years usually has more knowledge and experience about the company than someone who has only 2 years of experience. The difference in pay is most often worth it because of all the experience the person carries with them. It can sometimes be invaluable and can end up keeping many of your customers or clients.
When someone doesn't get along with the other workers it creates unnecessary tension and stress for everyone even if they aren't really involved. When considering who to lay off, consider those who don't get along with others or create unnecessary problems. Even if someone is good at their job, if they are creating problems it distracts employees from doing their work or helping the company focus on its goals.
When employees think they are going to be fired, they all panic. They best way to deal with it is to let everyone know what's going on as much as you are able to. If employees know that only 5 people will be let go instead of 30 then they will be a lot less nervous. You can't let everyone know the details but making sure that random rumors don't pop up will help with a lot of the stress.
When deciding if you should let someone go or not, pay attention to how they behaved before the layoffs and what their skills were, both socially, and in the work they did. Pay attention to how they handle the layoffs as well. If someone goes crazy because they think they might be fired it lets you know that they don't handle certain forms of stress well which can be an indicator that they need to go.
But if someone handles the stress with poise and flourishes during the stressful time it can be a really good indicator that they would be well suited for a higher level management job that deals with more stress than the average job.
While you're going through the whole process make sure that you take time for yourself. You need to make sure you take time to relax and really think about the decision you have to make. Making lists helps you to sort through your thoughts. It is what you have to do in order to make sure that you are making the best decision for your company. Take time to go through the list and double check what you wrote down. Sometimes getting another opinion, if it is available is a good idea too.
The best thing to do while handling layoffs is to relax and take the time to really sort through the details. Get second opinions if they are available and talk to some one so they can help you decide.
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