Managing Through Workplace Transitions

Managing Through Workplace Transitions

Notifying an employee that he or she is losing his/her job is probably one of the most difficult tasks a supervisor will ever face. Preparing for the possible reactions you and others may have will make it much easier for you to stabilize yourself and your workplace during this trying time. This information has been designed to assist you and to help you assist others through the workplace transitions resulting from a reduction-in-force.

Tips for Self Care

Understand the specific reasons for the reduction-in-force

Incorporate these reasons into your thinking and actions. A clear understanding of the necessity of the reduction-in-force will help to mitigate any guilt you may feel at having to make decisions or deliver the news that will significantly alter the lives of your employees.

Observe your own reaction to the reduction-in-force

Be aware of and acknowledge your own feelings about the reduction-in-force and the role you are playing in it. These may include fear, guilt, anger, sadness, or a feeling of personal responsibility. Recognize that these reactions are normal and to be expected.

Seek support from your peers, human resource professionals, or the State’s Employees’ Assistance Program

It is important to work through your feelings and deal with your emotions before you meet with employees who are losing their jobs. It is inappropriate to seek support from the employee who is losing a job. At all costs, avoid giving the impression that you are “on the employee’s side” or that you are against the organization. This can be very confusing for the individual who is losing his or her job. A manager needs to set a positive example for both departing employees and for those who will remain after the reduction-in-force.