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The Complete Manual for COVID-19 Layoffs

Ensure executive leadership and managers have the direction on best-practice tactics to effectively manage layoffs.

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Your Challenge

  • Maintaining continued operations while COVID-19 continues to decrease revenues.
  • Choosing the right way to cut costs.
  • Navigating layoffs without permanently damaging relationships with employees and employer brand.
  • Affecting employee jobs in a remote-working environment makes the layoff process more difficult.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Don’t cut blindly: make decisions based on a solid methodology and ranking.
  • Personal contact is your first priority. Remote working environments add complications to issuing layoff notices. Every effort should be made to deliver messages face-to-face over videoconferencing before alternative means of communication are explored.
  • There may be legal jurisdictional requirements for laying off remote workers. There may be laws and regulations that apply not just in your organization's home state or province, but also those of the area where the remote employee lives. Depending on your country's employment laws, you may be required to accommodate both.
  • Supporting laid off staff is worth your time. Even if you have no intention of hiring them back, and don't need them for a transitional period, offering support to laid-off staff and parting on good terms helps build your employer brand, maintain morale among remaining employees, and may ultimately save you money by ensuring your remaining workforce stays engaged and productive.

Impact and Result

  • Clear policy and guidelines on how (and when) layoffs will be carried out.
  • Identification of which skills and responsibilities are critical to your organization and an objective method used to select employees for layoff.
  • Detailed logistics planned for the day of issuing layoffs remotely.
  • Prepared managers, communications, and layoff notices.
  • Identification of key communication methods for staying connected to laid-off employees.
  • Built organization performance monitoring plan.

Research & Tools

Start here: Read The Complete Manual for COVID-19 Layoffs

Read our Executive Brief to understand the approach recommended for issuing layoff notices in response to the challenges posed to businesses and employers by COVID-19.

2. Objectively identify employees

Develop an objective layoff selection method and standardized processes to track the transfer of essential responsibilities.

4. Meet with employees

Collaborate with necessary departments and deliver layoffs notices.

5. Monitor and manage departmental effectiveness

Plan communications for affected employee groups and monitor organizational performance.

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