In once-in-a-lifetime economic downturns like this one, lay-offs are an unpleasant reality many businesses must face. As budgets dwindle, saying goodbye to valuable employees is often a double blow: on the one hand, you’re losing a valuable source of labor, and on the other, your remaining workforce will react negatively to seeing their co-workers let go—translating into a loss of morale and work. If you’re faced with the necessity of lay-offs, here are few tips to mitigate damage and keep employee morale up.

Go in with a strategy. Plan out communications in advance—before you effect layoffs—that reaches your employee base. Your messaging should explain not only why these layoffs were necessary, but also illustrates a plan of action that your company will take to grow and prosper. Present these changes as an important part of growth, not a sign that your business is failing.

Conduct one-on-one listening. Even in the wake of personalized meetings, ensure that middle managers are available and prepared to answer the inevitable questions your employees will have.

Give it time. If yours is a smaller organization, avoid increasing workload or taking on large projects right away. One fear employees may have is that their daily responsibilities will compound multi-fold—address these concerns right away and start building a stronger, more successful company.

Signing off for now,

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