Careers Succeeding at Work What Are the 10 Best Practices If You Must Do Layoffs As an Employer? Take These Steps Carefully to Protect Your Business and Remaining Employees Share PINTEREST Email Print Succeeding at Work Human Resources Hiring Best Practices Job Search Resources Glossary Employment Law Employee Motivation Employee Management Management Careers Management & Leadership Employee Benefits By Susan M. Heathfield Susan M. Heathfield Susan Heathfield is an HR and management consultant with an MS degree. She has decades of experience writing about human resources. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 11/20/19 Best practices in layoffs matter for the employees you lay off and the employees who survive the layoffs. Employee layoffs allow you to cut costs while preserving your relationship with your most critical employees. Plan first for your organization's future when you embark upon an employee layoff. You need to tackle the problems and challenges that you anticipate to occur before, during and after you layoff your valued employees. This anticipation will allow you to consider every alternative before you layoff employees, too. Communicating the alternatives you considered will also soften the blow of having to lay off employees—when you realize layoffs are your only option. The success of your organization moving forward depends on this thoughtfulness and communication. These are best practices of employers toward the employees they must lay off. Find out how to help the employees who survive the layoffs maintain positive morale and motivation. Adopt these best practices. How to Recession-Proof Your Job and Career Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images In the economic chaos that prevails from time to time in the world, many employees will lose their jobs. Unfortunately, you could be one of them. Depending upon your industry, the strength of your company, your continued sales (or lack thereof), your employment role, and the decisions made by government officials, the threat of a layoff could be imminent. Don’t bury your head in the sand and hope all of the potential threats to your job disappear. They won’t. Before You Do a Workforce Reduction Jetta Productions/Blend Images/Getty Images Your sales and profitability are not in line with your projections and goals. You've tried company-wide cost cutting and streamlined work processes. Departments have participated in continuous improvement discussions and plans. But, your expenses continue to mount. Your expenses are out-of-line with the current needs of your business. What are your alternatives? Often, there are no good answers. But, check these out as reasonable options. Downsizing With Dignity Alan Thornton/The Image Bank/Getty Images Downsizing or doing layoffs is a toxic solution. Used sparingly and with planning downsizing can be an organizational lifesaver, but when layoffs are used repeatedly without a thoughtful strategy, downsizing can destroy an organization's effectiveness. How you treat people really matters—to the people who leave and the people who remain. See a sample layoff letter for employees. What Notice Must an Employer Provide for Layoffs? D-Keine / Getty Images Employers have a variety of responsibilities to their employees. But employment termination is not an area that the Federal government legislates except in a few instances. The WARN act has certain requirements that employers must follow so you'll want to familiarize yourself with it. Need to understand how much warning an employer needs to provide an employee in a variety of termination scenarios? 7 Tips for Compassionate Layoffs Jupiterimages/Jupiterimages/Getty Images No one wants to lay off good employees. These seven tips will help you accomplish necessary employee layoffs with compassion and empathy for the employees you lay off and the employees who remain. Use these tips to successfully lay off employees while retaining the loyalty of your people who remain. Downsizing Survivors Robert Daly/Caiaimage/Getty Images No matter your circumstances, you all have something in common during and after downsizing—layoff survivors, those “could be,” “should be,” lucky employees who made the cut during the layoffs and downsizing. Most organizations invest their efforts in helping the downsized employees move on. This is ethical, reasonable and positive. Plus, your survivors are watching. But, even more important, is how you treat the employees who remain. Survivors Can Soar After Downsizing Jetta Productions/Blend Images/Getty Images If you do the right things right, you can minimize, and even eliminate, the negative organizational impacts of layoffs. Find out how you can minimize the impact of layoffs and downsizing on your survivors, the staff that remain following a layoff or downsizing. Severance Pay Stuart O'Sullivan/ The Image Bank/ Getty Images Severance pay is money that an employer might want to provide for an employee who is leaving their employ. Normal circumstances that might warrant severance pay include layoffs, job elimination, and mutual agreement to part ways for whatever reason. Severance pay usually amounts to a week or two of pay for each year of service to the company. Severance pay is strongly recommended for employers who are doing employee layoffs. It's a kind and thoughtful gesture, and remember—your remaining employees are watching. Employment Ending Checklist Chris Ryan/Caiaimage/Getty Images Employees leave your organization for good and bad reasons. On the positive side, they find new opportunities, go back to school, retire or land their dream job. Less positively, they are fired for poor performance or poor attendance or experience a layoff because of a business downturn. I In each instance, you need an employment termination checklist to help the employee exit process go smoothly. How to Cope When Coworkers Lose Their Jobs Sean De Burca/The Image Bank/Getty Images You’re sad, you’re scared, and you’re worried that your job might be the next to go. You’re also relieved, you’re thankful, and you feel guilty that you still have a job. You’re suffering from the loss of your coworkers, and despite being a downsizing survivor, you feel a bit like a victim, too. Welcome to the new world of jumbled emotions while you learn to cope with the loss of your coworkers in a layoff.