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Nigeria is going through a turbulent period and few organizations, if any, have not been affected by the economic challenges experienced thus far. According to Talentquest, a US-based HR Software and Consulting firm, in its article Layoff Advice: If You Have To Do It, Do It Right, “…decisions related to reductions in workforce are all–too–often made hastily, subjectively and in a vacuum.” While a layoff is difficult for all those involved, there are ways to minimize the negative consequences.

1) Do not be hasty – Adequate consideration needs to be given to what the organization will look like after the layoff. Carefully analyze each employee group and determine what skills and competencies make employees successful. Evaluate individuals against this benchmark

2) Be objective – it is not easy to eliminate biases such as personal relationships, personal circumstances and organizational tenure in the layoff selection process. Organizations should consider engaging external resources to help eliminate subjective or ill–informed decisions

3) Minimize interruption, Engage Employees  Provide clear direction for employees and offer a specific plan showing how work will get done in the newly configured organization. Help them be successful by establishing performance plans with specific, measurable objectives, and give them the tools, training and resources they will need to succeed.  Find ways to motivate and support your employees; People need encouragement and support to try something new, even if they are motivated to do so.

4) Communicate, Communicate, Communicate – Effective communication is key. Breaking tough news is never easy, but you can gain an extraordinary amount of trust, respect, and commitment from your team if you handle it properly. This is the most important time to engage and communicate with your employees openly and honestly. Show respect and offer support for all employees – those whose jobs have been eliminated as well as those whose have not. Don’t let the grapevine be the source of company information

The economy will eventually rebound. However, the question is whether your organization will be poised to capitalize on opportunities that arise when it does. So if you are forced to reduce your workforce, be sure to retain the talent you need – the right people with the right skill sets and personality attributes – to succeed in the near term as well as the long run. Short–sighted workforce decisions and poorly executed employee terminations can quickly nullify cost savings associated with a layoff……. TalentQuest.com 


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H. Pierson Associates, is a boutique consulting firm with over 60 seasoned professionals with varied experiences in both the private and public sectors.