Public Interest

How human resources can support remaining employees after a layoff

The process of laying off employees can be traumatic and difficult for any organization. While the focus is frequently on the employees who are being laid off, it is also crucial to consider the impact on the remaining personnel. The aftermath of a layoff can leave remaining employees anxious, unmotivated, and apprehensive about their own job security. Consequently, Human Resources (HR) perform a crucial role in fostering the morale and well-being of the remaining workforce during this transitional period.

Here is how HR can offer valuable support to employees after a layoff

  • Communication and Openness

Employees frequently experience a range of emotions following a layoff, from dread to confusion. To address any concerns or uncertainties, HR should prioritize open and honest communication. HR leaders can arrange regular meetings or town halls to communicate the company's future plans, the reasons behind the layoffs, and how it will affect the organization moving forward. By providing clarity and transparency, employees can feel more confident and a part of the organization.

  • Emotional Assistance and Counseling

Layoffs can be distressing for both the afflicted and the remaining employees. Human Resources (HR) should be proactive in providing emotional support, counseling, and access to Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) to assist employees in coping with stress and anxiety. Fostering a positive work environment and boosting employee morale can be accomplished by displaying genuine concern for their wellbeing.

  • Capability Growth and Instruction

The sudden departure of coworkers may result in an increase in burden for the remaining staff. By offering opportunities for skill development and training, HR can reduce employee burnout and enhance morale. In addition to enhancing their abilities, cross-training and upskilling employees will better prepare them to assume new responsibilities.

  • Employee Reward and Recognition

After a layoff, the remaining employees' morale may be low due to the loss of coworkers and the dread of future layoffs. HR can implement recognition programs to recognize and appreciate employees' hard work and commitment. Recognizing exceptional performance and contributions will encourage employees to remain dedicated to the organization by making them feel valued.

  • Reshaping Company Culture

A layoff can have a significant impact on the company's culture, instilling mistrust and dread in the workforce. HR should be proactive in reshaping the company's culture by nurturing teamwork, collaboration, and open communication. Promoting a positive work environment will aid in fostering trust and enhancing employee relationships.

  • Flexibility and balanced work-life

During the period following a layoff, employees may experience an increase in tension as they attempt to assume additional responsibilities. HR can provide flexible work arrangements and promote work-life balance to assist employees in effectively juggling their personal and professional obligations. 

  • Employee Response and Participation

HR should actively solicit feedback from the remaining employees regarding their reactions to the alterations and the type of assistance they require. Employee participation in decision-making processes can help rebuild trust and impart a sense of ownership in the organization's future.

A termination is difficult for any organization, but with the proper approach, HR can support and encourage the remaining employees. By investing in the health and development of the remaining personnel, HR can ensure that the organization recovers from a layoff stronger and more resilient.