HR Professionals Should be Humane During Layoffs

employee layoff
5 Min Read Views

There are situations where HR professionals need to communicate some tough decisions to employees. Let us assume a situation where a lay off conversation is going on between an HR representative and an employee. The conversation was a hard one because the employee was asked to leave the organization. Cost rationalization was the major reason for this layoff. Hiring and firing are two common tasks in an IT industry but the major hit is how the HR fraternity member handles this situation.

While it is an unfortunate fact that such unpleasant communications are majorly led by HR people, but it is a part of their job. However, when such conversations take place, they should never forget that they are dealing with humans and not machines. It is important that these types of situations are dealt with utmost care, sensitivity, and empathy. HR people should always imagine themselves in the respective employee’s shoe and start the conversation because you never know what impact such decisions create in the lives of people.

So, what are the best ways of dealing in these types of situation? Let us have a look…

  • Make sure that you have checked all possible solutions before making such a big decision of asking somebody to leave the organization.
  • Try to work out a humane severance package. It doesn’t matter if it is beyond the notice clause mentioned in the appointment letter.
  • Ensure that there are provisions for all the benefits till last working day of employee. This includes medical insurance, transport facility, etc.
  • Organize a personal meeting to convey this unfortunate message to the employee. Be patient and calm at the time of handling this situation.
  • Try to offer personal help and support. It helps!
  • Make sure that you reassure employee about positive background checks throughout in future.
  • Do not become inhuman by escorting the employee to the exit door soon after the conversation. Provide sufficient time to the employee to go back to the workstation and collect all personal belonging.
  • And, try to be humane at every point.


It is a fact that organizations exist to generate revenues and not to operate for charity. However, when there is a lot of cost pressure, it is important for an organization to look at other alternatives before asking employees to leave. For example, cutting down operations cost, salary cuts, etc. If you are truthful leader, then people will understand the situation and would accept this decision. Asking someone to leave the organization on account of business reasons should be the last step.

Saajan Sharma

Saajan Sharma is a digital marketer and blogger with several years of experience in the industry. He likes to help businesses stay informed and up to date with established and emerging technologies like HRMS, IoT, AI, Cloud, and others. Tweets at @SaajanSharma3

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