As an employee, what should you do if you know layoffs are coming?

Updated on : December 6, 2021 by Sarah Riley



As an employee, what should you do if you know layoffs are coming?

If layoffs come:

  • Bring all personal belongings home, except for some, to keep on your desk, where they are normally kept. Be discreet and subtle about it so people don't notice.
  • Erase all personal files from the computer, then wipe the hard drive so that nothing of them remains.
  • Absolutely Do not take anything that belongs to the company. Do not copy or save company files or any data, customer lists, presentations, etc.
  • Collect names and contact information for those who could be a good reference for you and valuable colleagues.
  • If you have a collection of other people's business cards, take them home.
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If layoffs come:

  • Bring all personal belongings home, except for some, to keep on your desk, where they are normally kept. Be discreet and subtle about it so people don't notice.
  • Erase all personal files from the computer, then wipe the hard drive so that nothing of them remains.
  • Absolutely Do not take anything that belongs to the company. Do not copy or save company files or any data, customer lists, presentations, etc.
  • Collect names and contact information for those who could be a good reference for you and valuable colleagues.
  • If you have a collection of other people's business cards, take them home from scratch for future reference.
  • Keep proof of training, any type of professional recognition.
  • Look for work from home. Avoid silent conversations with recruiters or friends while in the office. Likewise, don't take extra long breaks to look for work. Keep regular work and breakout patterns the same.
  • Use your network to find an experienced professional resume writer. Have the resume to start sending the day of dismissal, but after leaving the office.
  • On the day of termination, make it as easy as possible for those who fire you. If someone wants you to sign one or more documents, collect them by saying, "I'd like to review them privately before signing." Do not say anything about lawyers, lawsuits or complaints to any government office.
  • There is plenty of time after you leave the office to negotiate terms of compensation, consider whether legal action is warranted. The people who confront you during the termination process may not have the authority to negotiate with you.
  • Smile when you can, be friendly to everyone, say goodbye to your colleagues when you walk out the door. Others will remember friendly and professional outgoing demeanor long after you are gone.
  • The day after you leave the office, start looking for energetic work. 40+ hours per week. Make 3 new daily contacts to whom you can send your resume. Ask these new contacts if they know of anyone else you can send your resume to.
  • Consider organizing a weekly meeting with other colleagues who were laid off. This is to share job opportunities and moral support.

Layoffs can vary by job or profession. I anticipated and prepared for my once-in-a-lifetime layoff from a law firm at the height of the Great Recession in January 2009 by saving money and reducing expenses.

Our Firm's website had a newsletter that featured a growing list of firms that were laid off every day. This list never stopped growing. However, he did not know if it would be part of the firing. I was sitting at a desk on the 10th floor of our Entertainment Department when the phone on my desk rang with a name on the caller ID that I knew belonged to Human Resources.

This was a very good plan

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Layoffs can vary by job or profession. I anticipated and prepared for my once-in-a-lifetime layoff from a law firm at the height of the Great Recession in January 2009 by saving money and reducing expenses.

Our Firm's website had a newsletter that featured a growing list of firms that were laid off every day. This list never stopped growing. However, he did not know if it would be part of the firing. I was sitting at a desk on the 10th floor of our Entertainment Department when the phone on my desk rang with a name on the caller ID that I knew belonged to Human Resources.

This was a very well planned and thoughtful layoff. The firm prepared a handy notebook with lots of useful information for employees who are leaving, as well as a generous separation packet. We were told to apply for unemployment benefits immediately, and President Obama added a stimulus to the unemployment benefit in anticipation of a long period of rest. Unemployment benefits were paid for 99 weeks.

I fully understood that for the Firm to weather the economic recession, this is one of the first steps of many, which would be implemented if they remained viable.

I tried to mentally prepare for it because I didn't know what the legal secretary job market would look like in the future. Although he had savings, he knew that he would live on less money. The Firm fired most of the floaters and some secretaries. He had previously seen lawyers disappear throughout the year.

I stopped using credit cards and notified my creditors about my non-working status. They forgiven all the debt and now I have all the new credit cards.

ORIGINAL QUESTION: As an employee, what should you do if you know layoffs are coming?

I've been to both ends of a layoff. Rumors are usually accurate where I was, but the time frame might be off. Typically, management begins three months before a layoff by gathering data on the employees who will be affected. As a manager, I am generally asked to rate my employees. If I hear a layoff is coming and I'm not asked to rank my guys, I usually take it as it could be on the list. If so, I make sure to put my things in order and make sure my resume is up to date along with the contact list of my current coworkers and managers. Then I wait for things to pass.

Well, natural human behavior is to cry in panic, jump up and down, throw tantrums, scream, and then cry some more.

I guess it depends on the person if one is in a panic, then that is the main focus, panic, stress, worry, seizures, hospital, etc.

So the other half just accept it and move on

Now that I have been downsized several times, that is what led me to hire

So if I know it's coming, I start to check my license, what is the package they offer and then I decided to take a break and look for a new job. There is nothing else to do

Businesses are going through more financial recessions than ever before. Usually my resume is always up to date and I am always on the lookout for potential future job references (employees who leave before you are great candidates). And I always read the finances of the company.

Then I would make sure to try to retain as much information as possible that would benefit my next job. If there are emails that I don't want to be left, then I would delete a little bit at a time, but never all emails.

Then I would communicate with the recruiters that I am open to opportunities.

Ask your boss if you should polish up your resume.

I guess, at this point, you don't know if your name is on the chopping block.

If layoffs are required, then something either went according to plan or didn't go according to plan.

The area of ​​a company that is so far behind financial returns is where the haircut has to occur. That does not mean that everyone is eliminated, but perhaps some will be transferred to a different project or area where their skills will be financially advantageous. And maybe some people in other areas are eliminated because they are not as effective as some in the project that is being reduced, so those people can be exchanged for more effective people in the elimination project.

If you are making hiring decisions

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If layoffs are required, then something either went according to plan or didn't go according to plan.

The area of ​​a company that is so far behind financial returns is where the haircut has to occur. That does not mean that everyone is eliminated, but perhaps some will be transferred to a different project or area where their skills will be financially advantageous. And maybe some people in other areas are eliminated because they are not as effective as some in the project that is being reduced, so those people can be exchanged for more effective people in the elimination project.

If you're making hiring decisions based solely on age and experience, you deserve to go out of business. Employment decisions must be made on what the company needs as a resource to achieve a specific economic objective. Achieving specific economic goals is the purpose of the company, any detraction from that is a waste of scarce resources.

That's why great managers are careful about hiring and why. Nobody wants a project to fail and those involved to suffer that failure. Projects fail and having to terminate employment is always a shock to employees and the families who depend on them. If a company can reassign them to a new or different project, that is always an ethical option preferred by moral managers.

Also, just because an employee has lived a certain period of time does not mean that they are the most experienced person on the job. The youngest employee isn't necessarily new either.

These decisions require consideration and care, and especially the participation of the people involved. After all, it may be a group of employees who find a way to make the project succeed and end up with the company growing and hiring even more great people. And if it's not going to work, staff can find alternatives that will lead to success in other parts of the market and, again, keep people working and productive and the company profitable.

In the event that everything is sinking, whatever happens, who do you take out first? How about open communication with all staff and including their input in decision making? Yes, it is possible that some people leave that you did not want, that again is a consequence of the failure of the project. Let them go in great and positive terms - this project didn't work out and when we have another one that you would be qualified for, I hope you will consider meeting with us for that project.

Other than that, only a callous and cowardly incompetent manager would start eliminating people based on age, experience, and current cost.

Now is the time to say goodbye to a former employee

By Discard, I assume you mean Fire or Separated. Separated is the last politically correct (PC) term applied to the firing of an employee. Regardless of the adjective used or the tag attached, you need to do the following.

  1. Have your HR professional carry out the termination. If you don't have a human resources representative, then it is up to whoever you hire and fire.
  2. This may not need to be stated, however you should remove the employee from any work area or around any other employee and have the dismissal meeting in a side office or office.
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Now is the time to say goodbye to a former employee

By Discard, I assume you mean Fire or Separated. Separated is the last politically correct (PC) term applied to the firing of an employee. Regardless of the adjective used or the tag attached, you need to do the following.

  1. Have your HR professional carry out the termination. If you don't have a human resources representative, then it is up to whoever you hire and fire.
  2. This may not need to be stated, however you should take the employee out of any work area or around any other employee and have the dismissal meeting in a side office or office with that employee. It should be the employee facing the layoff and the HR Representative. No one else needs to be present unless you feel the employee might react, in which case keep security personnel present or contact local law enforcement. In today's current climate, it is not an overreaction to have a police officer present to help ensure a safe exit and that is only if you have valid reasons to support a potentially dangerous exit or situation.
  3. Have your final check ready and in an envelope. Also, have the paperwork they will need as a laid off employee so they know what they can do about anything with the unemployment office, their insurance, whether it is through work, and any other financial planning or benefits that were part of the job. which will now be changed or terminated. If they have an office, their items are already collected and packed to accompany the employee when they leave the building. You can also accompany the person to the exit or have security personnel present to do so.
  4. Keep it simple and short. Simply put, "we have to let you go." Do not state a reason or reasons why. If you have a redaction system and the employee had multiple redactions or warnings then that person is already aware and this is simply formal termination and should NOT engage in any kind of discussion about why or why as that creates legal ramifications that You can put your business on the line if that person decides to file a lawsuit or take other legal action, plus the person is already stressed out and getting fired, going over a litany of reasons why someone is being "fired" is not going to keep them calm and it could trigger a dangerous situation.
  5. Know the employee laws of your state, as it can also be a state at will. That means someone can be fired at any time with or without cause. However, know this: At will does not apply when employees take actions protected by public policy. This includes reporting wrongdoing or reporting illegal or dangerous activities. The exception does not apply in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New York, Rhode Island, and Florida. As the following:
  • Alabama.
  • Florida: Three limited conditions can void an agreement at will.
  • Georgia.
  • Louisiana.
  • Maine.
  • Nebraska.
  • New York.
  • Rhode Island
  • California

There are several online resources and articles to assist you in terminating an employee, such as this article: 6 Steps You Should Take Before Firing An Employee For Poor Performance - Insperity

Contrary to many articles available (like the one above), I highly recommend that you stick to n. 3 above and not going into detail and extremely brief and concise to avoid and stay away from ramifications regarding the method or statements made during a termination.

When a company needs to downsize or restructure, the threat of layoffs creates a stressed workforce. Employees are anxious, unsure of what to plan, and may feel like they might be the next to go. During these times, management must take steps to help ease the transition for departing employees and for employees whose jobs are safe.

When employees are laid off left and right, there's no getting around it - morale will be low. Even employees who know their jobs are safe will feel the stress - they may be losing close friends during a layoff, disrupting work.

Keep reading

When a company needs to downsize or restructure, the threat of layoffs creates a stressed workforce. Employees are anxious, unsure of what to plan, and may feel like they might be the next to go. During these times, management must take steps to help ease the transition for departing employees and for employees whose jobs are safe.

When employees are laid off left and right, there's no getting around it - morale will be low. Even employees who know their jobs are safe will feel the stress - they may be losing close friends during a layoff, disrupting their entire work experience.

So what's the best way for a company's culture to resurface after rounds of layoffs? Here are some key tips to remember during the layoff process that can make life a little easier for your workers.

Before Layoffs: How to Keep Morale High

Before anything official happens, layoffs, downsizing, and restructuring often involve multiple closed-door meetings. Tensions may be mounting for those in the know, and the rest of the team may be wondering what is going on.

But the management team can lay the foundation for everyone to experience disruption. The key is to act quickly.

1. Communicate

It's not anyone's favorite conversation, but managers should communicate with direct reports as much as possible about impending layoffs. Directives are likely to be passed on to middle management on what they can and cannot say to other workers. Follow the instructions you've been given and communicate as compassionately as you can.

Once the buzz starts, it can be tricky to get everyone to focus and pay attention to what's really going on. Eliminate rumors in the bud, but allow workers to communicate with each other and with managers about their concerns.

2. Be forgiving

Once an announcement has been made, don't expect that you can go back to work as usual. Productivity can plummet as workers wonder if they will be the first to leave. Keep perspective during this time. When employees can be laid off tomorrow, they are not likely to put in 110% of their work effort today.

If layoffs can be planned at a strategic time, aim for a time when there are few big projects or mandatory deadlines ahead.

3. Show respect

At the thought of being fired, employees can feel all sorts of things: fear, anxiety, stress, tension, and even anger. Allow workers to resolve their feelings and, where possible, show respect and understanding during this difficult time.

Don't take things personally and understand if a friendly former employee now looks at the management team with suspicion.

4. Be compassionate

If the management team comes to work during a break period with big smiles on their faces, employees may feel like they are out of touch with the experience of others.

On the other hand, being too upset about layoffs won't do much to boost morale either.

Like many things, the answer is in the balance. Let your employees know (as often as necessary) that you understand that they are upset, confused, or genuinely scared. Any guarantees you can give them will be welcome, just make sure you don't make unsubstantiated promises.

When a good employee is laid off, reconsider the typical "escort out the door" method. While that approach may be necessary in the event of termination or termination due to inappropriate behavior by an employee at work, it should not be the standard way to fire someone.

5. Be transparent

As Harvard Business Review reports, "Most people are loyal first to their manager and then to their company."

Direct reports will look to their supervisor for information on what to expect and what to do next. Managers should do their best to disclose necessary information in a compassionate manner. Be as present and understanding as you can; Be compassionate and lead your team by example.

6. Regroup

The remaining employees will be a bit shocked after a period of restructuring or downsizing.

This is the time (if not before) to clarify what restructuring means for those who stay.

  • Who will take on the remaining responsibilities?
  • Will employees be expected to cover work left by their colleagues?
  • Have previously established deadlines and plans changed at all, or are they still the same?

Clarify these questions even before they are asked.

The best way to do this is to talk to the employee first. You should make it clear that the parting ways should be mutual and free from retaliation, bitterness, or anger, and should be done in a professional manner. I assume you are not forced to leave because of something you did that was illegal, unethical, or violates company policies. If that's the case, I also assume you have a severance package that can be considered satisfactory or generous.

If the employee leaves on their own for any reason, be it an offer from another company or a family r

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The best way to do this is to talk to the employee first. You should make it clear that the parting ways should be mutual and free from retaliation, bitterness, or anger, and should be done in a professional manner. I assume you are not forced to leave because of something you did that was illegal, unethical, or violates company policies. If that's the case, I also assume you have a severance package that can be considered satisfactory or generous.

If the employee is leaving alone for any reason, whether it's an offer from another company, a family reason for moving out of town, or their plans to start their own business, it's a lot easier than having to fire them. Separation can be much more cordial than otherwise.

After the attorneys and human resources staff have completed the legal paperwork and signed the documents, an exit interview with the employee is necessary. Make sure the employee has had enough time to get over the shock, anxiety, or disappointment of the termination before sitting down with him / her for a frank conversation about all the things that pertain to their job. Offer to give them good references and make any relocation services available to them.

The warning signs that your company is going to lay off can be divided into two categories: company problems and your own individual problems. Both categories deserve your careful scrutiny and analysis:

Company problems that may indicate layoffs. First of all, as long as your company has some negative financial problems, you can expect some degree of internal turbulence. This can range from simple rumors and speculation to actual events of incorrect macros that occur, for example the impact of Brexit on the business environment. Your goal is to anticipate these signs and prepare for the worst.

Keep reading

The warning signs that your company is going to lay off can be divided into two categories: company problems and your own individual problems. Both categories deserve your careful scrutiny and analysis:

Company problems that may indicate layoffs. First of all, as long as your company has some negative financial problems, you can expect some degree of internal turbulence. This can range from simple rumors and speculation to actual events of incorrect macros that occur, for example the impact of Brexit on the business environment. Your goal is to anticipate these signs in advance and prepare for the worst case scenario. Individual problems that may indicate layoffs. These key signs are often easy to miss or ignore unless you are closely observing your situation. Indicative signs may include:

  • You have a new boss who is "too busy" to meet with you or just ignores you. This problem alone is not enough to think about dismissal, but try to remedy this situation as quickly as possible.
  • Your workload lightens gradually or abruptly, and even asking your boss for new assignments results in no upcoming ones. Worse yet, it has been reassigned from one or more major and strategic projects to smaller projects.
  • Either you are pulled out of the circle of key team meetings and / or your suggestions and questions are ignored.

    When you look around and see several of these warning signs, it's time to act quickly and prepare for a possible layoff by preparing for the worst outcome.

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