Eliminating jobs as a result of organizational changes is an emotional and stressful time for everyone involved; exiting employees, HR professionals and managers. Perhaps the most trying part of the whole experience is the severance meeting.
As an employee, you are just going about your day-to-day when you start to hear rumors that there might be layoffs and job cuts. You try not to let it worry you, after all, you’ve been with the company for years. They will get rid of the new people first. Then one day you get an email saying that HR wants to see you…
As an HR professional, you may or may not be the person responsible for actually informing employees if they are being let go, but you will be the one answering the questions and formalizing their exit from the company. This can be tough.
What can be done to try and make this whole process a little easier and less stressful for everyone invloved? Hiring a 3rd party, like Right Management who can provide your organization with a professional career consultant to be a part of the severance meeting. Consultants who are seasoned in dealing with these types of stressful situations; and can be there before and after the severance meeting to provide support and guidance to your HR team and the exiting employee(s).
Before the Meeting
As an HR professional, severance meetings are difficult experiences, no matter if it’s your first one or your 100th. It can be hard to map out what needs to be said. You want to get all of the the information across without coming across as over-rehearsed, or worse, cold and unsympathetic.
The career consultant can be there to provide helpful advice and guidance about proper messaging to help protect the dignity of employees and potential liability for the organization. During the meeting itself, emotions can run high, in the heat of the moment you might forget the things that need to be said. The career consultant can be there to help develop scripts in preparation for the severance meeting.
After the Meeting
Once the meeting is over, the career consultant can be a supportive and sympathetic ear for the employee whose life has been thrown into a turmoil, listening to them vent or just talking with them.They can talk with the employee about next steps. Letting them know how outplacement is going to help them move forward and how the 3rd party (like Right Management) will be there for them.
The career consultant can also be there for the HR professional who is feeling a mix of emotions too, because no one ever wants to have to tell someone that they no longer have a job to come to everyday.They can continue to advise HR and managers about how to talk about this with remaining employees. This is critically important as layoffs can have a signifciant impact on the morale of the employees who weren’t impacted and still work for the company.
If your organization is going to be faced with restructuring in the near future, contact us to learn how we can help your organization and your employees during the transition.