As a company owner or C-level executive, there may come a point when you're staffed with the responsibility of laying off an employee. This is never an easy thing to do, but it comes along with the territory.
Before you do anything, it's important to have a clear idea of the steps you'll take. Here are some questions you can answer to ensure that you have the right plan in place:
- How will you notify the employee that you are laying them off?
- Do you have a plan for dealing with the reaction of the employee, such as if they become angry?
- Have you reviewed your employee handbook to ensure that you're following the proper layoff procedures?
- Have you reviewed the employee's employment contract?
- Is the employee entitled to severance pay as a result of language in their contract? If not, will you offer it anyway?
- What types of resources and support will you offer the employee?
- Do you have a system in place for communicating this message in a compassionate manner?
- Does it make sense to have at least one other person in the room with you when discussing the layoff with the employee?
When you answer these types of questions, you'll find it easier to plan for this often-difficult process.
If you have any concerns before or after laying off an employee, it's critical to clear the air. For example, you may need assistance with negotiating a severance package. Understanding the law and your legal rights as an employer will go a long way in helping you efficiently move through the process.