It goes with saying people are hired with the best of intentions. And then for some reason things begin to go wrong. A support person isn’t performing. A subordinate isn’t developing. A manager isn’t contributing.
All too often our reaction is do little if anything. We wait, we hope, we encourage, we threaten.
All the while we are hoping that the problem will resolve itself.
Through no one’s fault, we suffer a “work quake.”
The economy changes.
We lose business.
A major client leaves.
Suddenly there is not enough work to support the current staff.
We hang on as long as we can but, inevitably, we have to face the reality of layoffs or permanent downsizing.
The problem is compounded by the fact that most employers are not trained to know how to compassionately terminate an employee. There are questions that need answering. They often need help formulating a plan.
Employers’ questions include:
- What do I say when I terminate an employee?
- How do I say it?
- What do I tell the other employees and when?
- How do I deal with the existing workload?
- Should terminated employees stay and “wrap up loose ends” for a few days or leave the day they are terminated or laid off?
- How much outplacement assistance should I provide?
- How long should I provide the help?
Employees’ questions include:
- What do I say if people ask me why I left my job?
- What do I tell my family?
- Will anyone want me if I’ve been fired?
- I have to find a job. What should I do first?
- I don’t know what I want to do for a living. Where do I go for answers?
Prior to termination I help the employer by:
- Role- playing the termination process to assist them in knowing what to say, when to say it, and how to say it.
Following the termination I help the employee by:
- Role -playing typical employee reactions and how to deal with those reactions.
- Preparing a termination letter.
- Role- playing the meeting with remaining employees
- Working through the fears and anxieties associated with the loss of their job.
- Assisting them in organizing and implementing a plan that will identifying work environments providing the greatest career and financial satisfaction.
- Helping them target organizations of interest.
- Coaching them in preparing for the interview (including salary negotiations)
- Advising them in preparing and effectively using written correspondence (proposals, resumes, cover letters, etc.)