Employment: The Corporate L-Word
Appropriate Severance Pay
You may want to come up with a formula that provides one to two weeks of pay for each year the employee has worked for you. Also, consider providing laid-off employees with assistance services. The more generous your severance package, the more likely your employee is to accept it and sign the release from liability.
Treat people with dignity and respect. These are tough times for everybody. And the people about to be laid off will have their confidence and foundations shattered. So do it gently, but unequivocally. Do the layoffs one-on-one in the presence of a human resources rep and your worker’s manager. Complete the process that same day. Don’t even think about a mass meeting, telephone conference call or e-mail — your people deserve more than that from you.
Direct, clear and timely communication is essential. The sooner your employees know about your business problems and that layoffs may be coming, the easier it’ll be to win their trust and strengthen the morale of your remaining workforce.
Les Gore is managing partner of Executive Search International, a catalog, online and retail recruiting firm. You can reach him at (617) 527-8787 or firstname.lastname@example.org.