How to Deal with the Stress of Laying Off Employees

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One of the most stressful tasks on any management team is laying off employees. You know that this process is the best move for the better of your company, but you’re also aware that a layoff will negatively affect people you may have been working with for a long time. Before diving into layoffs, whether large or small, it is a good idea to think about the process in order to prepare yourself with a proactive approach. These tactics will help you to not only ease the layoff process but also help you to reflect on your role.


Take an Honest Approach 

Grieve the loss openly. Let’s face it, both the company and the employee will be going through a loss. It’s best to be honest and open about that negative effect. Even though the conversation with the employee will be a difficult one, they will appreciate an honest approach. Allow yourself the time to experience the grieving process when laying off employees. You will more successfully accept the situation if you go through the process of shock, denial, fear, anger, resistance, and sadness. Sometimes journaling through the process can help to understand what you are feeling.


Embrace the Emotions

Speaking of feelings, allow yourself to feel the emotions you’re having and work to move forward. You may experience an array of emotions as you are tasked with laying off employees. It is okay to feel angry, fearful, or distressed. During the difficult process, it will ease your anxiety to think about your feelings and describe the emotions you are experiencing, even if that’s just a process you do in your head. Talking to coworkers on your management team can also help you feel less alone.

Your emotions may feel like you are on a roller coaster, especially if your company is laying off a large number of employees. It is understandable if you sway between sadness and anger. Utilize patience throughout this process as you have difficult conversations while laying off employees because you will experience a mix of good and bad days during layoffs.


Seek Proper Help

Counseling with Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) could greatly improve the process of laying off employees. Contacting an objective third party can ease the recovery, especially after big layoffs. CISM can come in to help improve the process in order to help managers and existing employees across the team feel reassured that the layoffs will put your company in the best position possible. Contact our team today for immediate help in this difficult time, we’re here for you.

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