Planning for Layoffs

Business organizations face many great challenges as they try to remain competitive especially in today’s competitive society. Sometimes the business can resort to a layoff or plant closure. A company can lay off its staff or plan closure if the economy is doing badly and the company is no longer profitable. Other employees though may be dismissed due to one or some of the following reasons;

  • For poor performance on the part of the employee including abseentism, lack of punctuality or failure to produce required results,
  • For resisting change,
  • For negativism,
  • Insubordination,
  • For criminal acts and other questionable character or ethical lapses,
  • Not conforming to company values.

When employers resort to laying off staff/ close business and send staff packing, they are advised to be simple, compassionate and quick. Before terminating an employee, the manager should prepare a guideline to help him/her in the layoffs.


Implications of poor termination practices

Managers should be able to know implications of poor termination practices like increased legal compliance and litigation and a negative impact on corporate brand and the remaining employees.

Managers should plan for the layoffs

Such questions like other alternatives like job sharing, workforce planning and training should be considered before terminating staff’s services. Managers should have a confidential meeting room and away from employees’ work area and a proper meeting time. In attendance should include direct managers and HR with defined roles. Check all other considerations like security, being honest during the meeting. Preparing the termination letter should include honesty, being direct and recognizing of services.

Conducting the layoffs

This will depend on termination with notice or effective immediately. In most cases though, effective termination is better. Deliver the termination and be brief but straight to the point. Be prepared to various reactions and allow them to react but gently ensure they understand the message. 

What next after the layoffs

            The manager should deliver a message to other staff members who remain and reinforce importance of their jobs. The manager should also consider such best practices like being visible to remaining employees and demonstrate empathy.


Planning for layoffs is important and every situation must be carefully planned for. The manager should know how to nature survivors and draw expert advice on reducing corporate risks.

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