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October 17, 2017
Human Resources  |  5 min read

How to Help Employees Calm After a Layoff

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Makeda Waterman

A meeting request arrives in your inbox to discuss an important matter with the director of your department. The company is planning to decrease expenditures, and the first step is to lay off a few employees from your team. The right way to fire an employee can be difficult since it is a sensitive matter with emotions are involved. The next day you create a list for your manager, later receiving an update that it is approved.

Before you decide to let an employee go, we recommend you learn about employment laws you do not want to break. Letting an employee go is not easy—to help you with the transition, consider these services to offer:

Outplacement services

One of the best ways to ease an employee’s feelings parting ways with your company is to offer outplacement services. It is a service that provides career guidance, resume and cover letter writing, interview preparation, networking opportunities, and career evaluation. Outplacement services can be beneficial to employees that are close to retirement, students, and immigrants who are new to the country. In general, it is the first step for them to find the confidence to get back into the workforce.

As a small business owner, you can save your reputation by providing personalized options to help a person to find new employment without experiencing the pitfalls to lessen the amount of time out of work.

Emotional support

The experience of a layoff can be mentally and emotionally draining for a manager and the employee. The reality of saying goodbye to a company that a person has grown with over the years is not easy.

Most companies offer emotional support programs to exiting employees within a specific timeframe after the layoff. Think about the fact that this person might have a family and financial responsibilities to manage until they find a new job.

Before you walk them outside, offer a 1-800 hotline for them to call when they need to speak to someone about the situation. 

Unemployment insurance

According to the Statista website, “In June 2017, the total monthly benefits paid to unemployed people in the United States amounted to 2.2 billion U.S. dollars.” It is only eligible to people who are at no fault of their own for the job loss. Unemployment insurance is funded by the government insurance system with small sums of payments each month to cover basic needs. Here is a list of factors that will disqualify a worker from unemployment insurance:

  • A history of being late to work
  • Absences
  • Workplace rules were violated
  • Inebriated at work
  • Sleeping while on the job
  • Dishonest behavior
  • Sexual harassment is on file

Career counseling

Many employees find it difficult to stay strong emotionally and move on immediately after a layoff. Career counseling gives the employees the opportunity to seek advice from a counselor regarding career transition and personal development while offering networking opportunities.

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It can eliminate the feeling of being overwhelmed while figuring out a plan to balance their financial responsibilities. Career counseling can be  outsourced through a third-party company or can be offered through online programs.

An efficient outplacement plan is a positive way to end a relationship with an employee. It is an achievement to be known in your industry for hiring top talent, but a reputation of offering options to workers exiting the company is important.

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makeda waterman.jpeg

Makeda Waterman is a freelance business writer with writing clips from Huffington Post,, Elite Daily, and, among others. She has an education in Journalism and owns a writing business with a passion for helping companies grow.

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