How to manage Lay-offs and Stay Ahead?

Being Laid - off, is one of the most difficult situation to be in & the most challenging time for any employee to cope up with.

Since past 5 years, In my current role – I have seen many layoff happened and the devastating effects on individuals and their families. It’s not an easy time for the employee and I am sure for the employers as well. Whatever you may call it – Layoff, downsizing or reduction in headcounts – the overall economic scenario has resulted in more job losses and unemployment in the recent years.

Let me share a real instance with you. Last year, I got a call from an unknown number late in the evening and voice on the other side was full of panic and anger – because he got the news that he being laid off from his job with immediate effect. He was in complete disbelief that how and why it happened to him. He was restless because not only he was one of the highest performers in the country but also he was awarded  last month by his company head.

Well, that day I only listened to him, because I felt, at that moment this is the best thing I can do was to Listen, Listen and Listen. This helped him to cool down and also made him little relaxed. But later I was wondering , that how the situation would be with others and how they would be coping up with.

Why Layoffs Are Happening

Many organizations are under tremendous economic pressure. Demonetization, GST, Steep price reductions, Restructuring, Takeovers, Mergers & Joint Ventures are becoming extremely common as organizations are trying to grow and survive. These changes are bringing new challenges and opportunities for everyone, thus everyone in the organization must learn to cope with the new arising situations or face consequences but when change is not managed well, it can lead to attrition, job loss, Stress, panic, mistakes and even depression to some.

Here are few steps and strategies that you can do in case you are in a similar situation and prepare yourself to face difficult times. Well they may not be applicable all the situations but may be of some use to you.

  1. Keep your Calm and do not get panic

In most occasions when employees hear the news of layoff, they generally get into a panic mode. Any reaction in your office or a knee-jerk reaction can impact your relationships with peers or your bosses around. If you are at work location when the news is broken to you, try to go out in an open area and first talk to yourself, gather your thoughts and try for a short brisk walk.

So it’s important to remain cool and not to take any action, which you may regret later.

2. Call your parents/ spouse or trusted friend

In situations like this, it’s difficult to trust anyone. The best person to break this news are your family members or any trusted friend or your mentor (If you have), because they are the one who would empathize with you and listen to you and not those who are opportunistic

3. Don’t Feel Ashamed

There’s a difference between layoff and Termination, layoff are a result of downsizing or restructuring and mostly planned move. While termination could be the result of non-compliance activity done by an individual. So don’t be ashamed or have a feeling of guilt as layoff are beyond your control and has happened not you alone but impacted many others as well. It’s how you manage the setback and not the setback itself.


4.Fix Meeting with your HR partner

Once you start settling down, you should fix a meeting with your HR partner and seek details on the severance package ? Outplacement planned by the company? Your benefits like incentives , gratuity , bonus or any related benefits that you are likely to get.

If HR ask you to sign any letter or document, take time , don’t just sign off in emotions . Ask them time for 1 to 2 days for your revert. A simple sign may be an acknowledgment towards your acceptance of termination or layoff with or without benefits.

5.Your Boss can be your best friend in this moment

Preferably your boss can be your best friend in these situations, but if you do not trust your boss then talk to your ex boss , where your trust levels are highest . Ask for his suggestions and job opportunities if any, to help you get connected to.

The above are the 5 most effective points that I felt can be of some use to anyone. However you need to understand that your layoff could also means a bigger opportunity for you to explore as per your priorities, career passions and long term goals.

Keep developing your leadership skills and enhancing your value in your organization.

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All key messages that I have mentioned above are from my personal experiences and few articles that I have read.

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