Asking people to leave a company after they have put in years of service is one of the most unpleasant tasks that a senior manager has to undertake. Unfortunately, layoffs are a part of corporate life and are likely to remain a common phenomenon in America.
According to a report in Fortune, 2015 saw several massive cutbacks by large companies. Hewlett-Packard announced a reduction of 30,000 in its workforce while Schlumberger, an oil and gas giant, asked 20,000 of its employees to leave.

Is there a correct way to tell an employee to quit? Regrettably, there isn't. But it is possible to minimize the disagreeable fallout that can result from telling large numbers of workers that they no longer have a job.

Tell the employee in person

Sending an email or a written communication is the wrong way to convey the message to an employee. A brief personal meeting should be held where the affected worker, an HR representative and a senior manager should be present.

The reasons for the layoff should be explained and the employee should be informed of the severance package that the company would give. If there are any specific queries, the HR manager can give a short explanation or the employee can be told that a reply would be conveyed within a specified time frame.

In this personal meeting, it is important to convey that the layoff is not because of performance, but is due to the elimination of the job that the worker is doing.

Provide help if you can

The first concern of a worker whose job is taken away is to get another. Any help that you can promise in this connection will be highly appreciated. But do not try to sugarcoat the layoff by saying that you will arrange alternate employment when you know you cannot.

At the very least, you can provide a good reference. Use the contacts that you have within the industry if you think that will help the laid-off worker get a job. Tell the employee very clearly what you will do and make sure that you do at least that much.

Implement layoffs within a short time span

Possibly the worst approach that you can take is to drag out layoffs over an extended period of time. If you do this, work will be severely affected as employees wait to find out if they are going to be axed.
Make a general announcement about the layoffs after you have conveyed the message to each employee who is being told to leave. In case there are workers located in other towns, tell them on the phone.

Handle the aftereffects

After the layoffs have been implemented, the morale of the remaining workers would sink. They would fear that the company may terminate their jobs next. It is up to the management to boost the confidence of the employees.

The best way to do this is to keep communication channels open and reassure workers that no more layoffs would take place. The employees who have been retained need to understand that they should concentrate on bringing the company back to profitability.