How to Lay Off Your Employees

Laying off employees is the most unpleasant task an employer or manager has to take when the company is in dire health. However, by doing it with dignity and respect, an employer can ensure that it is done as amicably as possible.


  • 1

    Start the process immediately

    Although laying-off is never desirable, it is important to take the necessary steps as quickly as possible in order to keep the morale of your staff intact. Speculation will lead to poor performance and affect motivation, so it is important to addresses the problem straight away.

  • 2

    Follow the law

    You will need to abide by the law. This will be necessary as an employee can take matters to the court in case of wrong termination. Make sure you are aware of the rules and procedures written in the employment contract. Convey them to the employee if necessary.

  • 3

    State the reasoning

    The lay-off procedure is a straight forward one; make sure to keep it that way. It is not due to bad performance or negativity but has come as a result of the poor economic conditions. Have all the details sorted out and be ready to answer any questions an employee may have. Knowing that his/her performance has been satisfactory, your employee may want to know the real reasons behind such a drastic measure.

  • 4

    Practice and hold a meeting

    Since this is a tough call, it is important to give staff a clear picture of the company’s position and future goals, of which certain employees will not be a part of. As emotions will run high, it is important that you practice the argument before calling those employees who are being let go. Make sure that you sound honest when delivering the news. Hold one-to-one meetings and give logical explanations.

  • 5

    Offer additional help

    Try to provide additional help in order to smooth out the layoff process. Assure him/her that he/she will be given the necessary references for other jobs, along with a letter of recommendation. Ending the relationship on good terms will keep both sides happy, and ensure no bad blood.

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