Updated: Apr 15, 2021
No one relishes doing it but if you are looking at your cashflow as we face another lockdown and coming to the conclusion that you have no other option, here are some ways to make it less painful for your employees.
Take advice on the legalities and ensure that you have robust HR support in place to guide you through the process. The rules around furlough, consultation periods etc are strict and ever changing so you NEED to get this part right or you could face legal action.
Understand that you are likely to be shaking your employees to the core with this decision. Whatever your perspective (and I absolutely get how hard it is) you are putting your staff members security and stability at risk, potentially just before Christmas at the end of what may have been a very difficult year. Acknowledge this and that it's a last resort.
BE CLEAR. On settlements, timescales etc. Ambiguity and uncertainty will not only have an effect on the individual but also on their colleagues who are remaining in the business and on their productivity, your bottom line and your brand reputation.
Don't pretend it's business as usual. It just isn't so cut them some slack as they go through a grief/change cycle and come out the other side.
Be aware of mental health needs and that the 'strong' team members may need to talk too. Offer support through your EAP or point them in the direction of help through their private healthcare plan if appropriate.
Offer outplacement support if at all possible and ask employees what would be most useful to them, whether that's workshops or 1 to 1 coaching/mentoring. Depending on your workforce, it may be a long time since they've had an interview (let alone a virtual one) or had to write a CV so this could be very daunting even without the global pandemic and rising unemployment numbers. Support them with this as much as you can by asking a professional with current knowledge of the job market for some assistance.
I'm happy to help further with this and offer outplacement support packages from £350 per individual to ensure that your staff members feel supported and guided through the process.