It is always difficult to let people go and it’s unfortunately something we find ourselves doing more frequently in 2020. Informing an employee or team member that your company has to end their employment is something no one relishes doing. There are ways, however, to make this painful and awkward moment a little easier on both the givers and the receivers of the news.
Provide a Compassionate Environment
Providing a compassionate environment means finding a place and time to deliver the news when you can be alone with the employee (whether virtual or in-person) and have time to talk to them and ensure they are in a safe place. This could be in your office, during a time when there are no other employees around or it could mean allowing an adequate time on a Zoom or other virtual meeting platform when you know you will not be interrupted and you can devote your full time and attention to the matter.
Go into the Discussion Fully Prepared
Before you start the meeting, make sure you have everything on hand that you will need to begin the offboarding of the employee in a smooth and gentle manner. This means be ready to discuss how your company is prepared to help them through the transition, with all the paperwork that you might need. If there is a severance package, be sure you have those details in writing and are prepared to share that with the departing employee. Make sure you also have information about how to transition their insurance and if or for how long your company will provide insurance coverage for them. Part of the preparation for any layoff should include downloading our RIF checklist. This will keep you on task and make sure you don’t miss any important details.