A separation or dismissal leads to the loss of work time and income: it can destroy relationships with customers and damage the image of a company. A bad response to this situation can cost you the confidence of your team and damage the morale and commitment of employees.
These are the steps to help companies respond effectively to layoffs in the workplace:
1. Get ready.
Make sure that managers know the corporate guidelines and protocols to respond to a dismissal. Also, make sure that managers know and have properly marked the property lines, and that they have schedules, lists, and other confidential documents guarded safely.
2. Avoid hurting people’s feelings.
An interruption in the workplace can generate a bad emotional climate: it is part of human nature for leaders to try to defend the reputation of the company and the team that matters to them. Leaders must learn to remain calm and resist the urge to debate or fight during an interruption in the workplace.
3. Safety before all.
HR must ensure that all employees, customers and protesters remain safe, at the same time they must protect the property of the company.
4. Restore order.
Once the protesters leave, it is important to restore things in the best possible way, to return to a normal state. Employees and customers will often be shaken by an event of this kind: talk to them and let them know what you are doing to make things work again as usual.
Document everything that happened in detail: consult your labor lawyer about the legal implications of the protest.
The most important step in the process, and the one that is most overlooked, is to involve employees and clients after the interruption. Allow them to share any concerns they may have. Let them know how important they are for the organization and use this shared experience as a way to increase the connection between all the staff.