The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to halt life and business as we know it, resulting in a massive amount of Americans losing their jobs.
And if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing to lay off some of your workforce, it’s even more important than usual to do this as kindly and professionally as possible.
In these unprecedented times, the way employers manage this crisis will have a lasting impact on their reputation for years to come.
Keeping things fair
Here are some best layoff practices, according to various HR experts and the EEOC:
1. Keep layoffs as fair as possible. Under normal circumstances, criteria for determining who to lay off include seniority and job performance. Use these criteria as much as possible. Also, be careful not to lay off a disproportionate amount of protected employees – such as disabled ones – or you may find yourself in legal trouble.
2. Help point people in the right direction. Employees tend to panic when they’re laid off, and the pandemic will only magnify this reaction. Be sure to help them with the next steps. Have services ready to assist laid off employees with things like filing for unemployment and getting health coverage.
3. Make sure leadership is making sacrifices, too. While delivering the bad news, it’s crucial to emphasize the financial measures the company took before resorting to layoffs – such as a reduction in discretionary spending and executive salaries. News of layoffs will go over much better if employees know that everyone made sacrifices in order to keep the business afloat.