I’m conducting a Retrenchment exercise in a few
months' time. I’ve done this once before last year and thankfully I have not had
to witness or manage an emotional Employee. But I worry that some people might
get upset this time. Do you have any advice for me?
Receiving the news that you no longer have a job is
always emotional, even if it’s not obvious in their facial expressions. It’s important to be empathetic and at the same time, factual and business-like.
Here are 5 DOs:
1. Be compassionate and understanding. Managers
should conduct the meeting with compassion and imagine themselves in the exiting
staff’s shoes. They would appreciate the dignity of a respectful exit.
2. Be focused and to the point. Do not ramble. Do
not make small talk. Do not digress. Keep to the script, provide all the
relevant information needed and proceed to the next individual. The impacted
staff is already in a state of shock and is likely unable to process any extra details.
Help him or her by relaying only the facts needed for the situation at hand.
3. Listen carefully and observe keenly. During the
meeting, it is both the Manager's and HR’s responsibility to listen closely to
what the individual is asking and to provide the appropriate answers. It is
also necessary to keenly observe the mood, especially if the employee has a
history of emotional or mental stress challenges. Should something be amiss, the
matter needs to be escalated as soon as possible.
4. Ensure that the meeting room is private. It
would not help to have curious people looking in. Also, have a box of tissues
and some water readily available.
5. Ensure the individual understands what is
happening and knows the next steps. Often, this moment is a hazy one for them
and they are unable to register details. An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) sheet with relevant information and helplines listed would be useful.
Help your exiting staff move on quickly and do engage
professionals if you need help.
All the best!