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What happens when you need to close a plant? How do you take care of your employees?

stressedman19185193.jpgThe economy has caused a number of problems for businesses and many manufacturing plants have been forced to close some of their locations. Letting go employees can always be a bit of a challenge. How do you take care of all those people that worked so hard for your company? Here are some effective ways in which you can let people go without making it seem terrible.

First, never plan to close a facility in the middle of a celebration. You'd be surprised how many companies lay off people during the holidays; this is one of the worst times to lay off people as they have to walk past festive decorations and other things with their box of supplies from the office.

Second, don't plan a big announcement and then lay off a bunch of employees. When you report an increase in the last quarter, it's not going to look good if you lay off a bunch of employees at this time.

It's not easy to shut down different locations but you can do it tactfully. Having the right plan and "exit strategy" for your company will help to limit the damage it will do to your overall reputation. You are going to take a hit during the closure so it's important to have a good PR department on your side to help you limit the bad press coverage that is out there floating about your company.

What is involved in closing a plant? Starting with PR, you need to get on top of the press coverage to ensure that you aren't going to completely ruin your reputation. You also need to contact your human resources department to help you deal with the lay-offs and to try and limit the emotional issues that come along with closing a facility. It also involves your communication department and your security department as there may be a few employees that won't leave peacefully. Make sure you have good human relations individuals that can soften the blow to your employees so it won't be nearly as painful for them to get laid off.

Secure any leaks in your organization. The last thing you want is to have your employees find out that you are closing the plant before you have announced it. You need to make sure you are the only person that knows about it and by the time you have talked to your HR and PR Department, the announcement is going to be stated to your staff within the day.

When it comes time to make the big announcement you need to be upfront and honest with your employees. Don't make them sit in your office and explain things with technical terms for hours. Tell them how it is and try to make it as delicate as possible. The other thing you can do to make the lay-offs a little easier is to talk to your HR Department about what they can do to try and help the employees to find new jobs. This way you aren't just letting them go without a future, let them know you do want to help them as much as possible.

There is a big cause for concern when you are dealing with employees that are very stressed and frustrated about losing their jobs. Lately there have been a number of factories that have dealt with laid off workers that have committed violent acts against former employers. Having security is a great way to make sure that your laid-off employees are going to leave the facility without violence and you also need security to keep the building safe in case you have a former employee come back to attack the building.

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