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How to Support People You Are Letting Go

Emma Jennings-Hester
Emma Jennings-Hester July 16, 2020
Support People You Are Letting Go

The ugly side of any business is the inevitability of having to let people go. While, luckily, not all professionals have had to go through being made redundant, the majority of companies at one point another will have performed redundancies. It's not an easy or nice thing to do, but with the right approach, it can be done in a sensitive and considerate way.

Being made redundant creates many challenges both professionally and emotionally, and if you are in the position of having to let people go, it's important you handle matters with tact.

Handle things without rushing

While you might be tempted to get things over with quickly, when you are in the position of making someone redundant, it's important to remember to keep calm and handle things in a steady way without rushing. Allow people to reflect on the issue, offer an analysis of why this has happened, and reassure them.

Don't focus on the negative

Yes, there's nothing great about redundancies and it's easy to get in a negative mindset. Yet there's nothing more important than to keep a neutral if not a positive attitude towards matters. This in return will make the other person feel the same way. Empathise and reassure, express the importance of keeping a positive mindset and looking for future opportunities with their set of skills instead of falling into despair. Some companies offer coaching to assist with this process.

Highlight their experience

Letting someone go might imply a lack of qualifications or a failure to perform well within the position. When it comes to redundancies, that is rarely the case. This should always be highlighted along with the strengths the person possesses along with the positives they have added to the company and the role.

Offer support

Companies can help their redundant employees with coaching opportunities as well as insights into their work that they can then apply to the search for new professional opportunities. If possible, offer assistance both emotionally and practically. Some employees might require more assistance than others and while offering assistance might attract some extra costs, there are often ways to deal with that within the company and in the long run it helps maintain the positive image of the company.

Emma Jennings-Hester
Emma Jennings-Hester July 16, 2020

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