Beside the point how big or small your internal Hr department is, it is important for it to be a part of the main work machine. They play a significant role in bridging the communication between the executive management and the employees. Even then, there are many small things that a Human resource department needs to be careful of especially in a lay off environment as discussed in our previous blog. They need to be always clear and transparent of their actions and represent a fair deal to the coworkers.
There may be certain things that may turn out to be very toxic as well as counterproductive at work if not handled with caution and care. These are situations relating to rumors and anticipations about the company’s health and future during a particular situation and the changes the company proposes to introduce during such an event. In such times, it is imperative for the HR team to speak to the executive about the lay off. This will enable them to get a handle on the situation and the correct way it needs to be communicated to the employees.
The best manner would be if the company has a Chief People’s Officer a VP or the chief of HR then the information to the employees could be transmitted via the latter. Once everything about the company’s decision and current position is clear it is a positive approach to give the Hr team a briefing of the entire situation. Ascertain that they have got the message clearly and can forward the same to the employees. In addition they also need to be prepared to face the most obvious of the questions that will be posed by the employees and realize to whom they should report intricate details of the situation.
While delivering the message it needs to be done in a straight forward fashion and giving the right reasons for the layoff, also the employees are unlikely to know about the situation of the company so it is equally important for them to understand about the health of the company. It should also be noted here that although it is good to be sympathetic towards the employees letting out to much of company information could also be unethical.
After the message has been passed on, it is better to encourage your coworkers and let them know that you stand for them and they have the privilege of attaining any help or assistance they require to cope with the situation. This can also be carried out in a university style office hour policy where in a set time is allocated for the coworkers to come by and inquire.
Finally letting your coworkers know that their best interests at heart as a HR professional it is also your responsibility to look out for their professional development and ensure their voices are heard, as it is not the end of the world.