HRM Essay Sample: Effective Communication in the Laying Off of Employees

Published: 2022-06-01
HRM Essay Sample: Effective Communication in the Laying Off of Employees
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Management Communication Human resources
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1377 words
12 min read

Communication is the process of transfer of information from one party to another. Effective communication is critical in the laying off of employees. The manager needs to come up with a communication plan. Openness should characterize the communication plan. Open communication is important for any company that wants to create trust between the employees and the management (Duncan & Hill, 2014). During the process of layoff, the management should ensure that all critical information is disseminated to employees, this information concerns the reason for the layoff. The communication should be to the employee(s) getting laid off and the employees that remain. The communication plan should start with the initial communication before the layoff process begins, the management should then communicate openly to employees and allow employees to give feedback. Feedback is the only way to gauge whether the communication was effective (Cascio, 2018).

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Structural Changes

After an employee is laid off, the management needs to make changes to the performance processes in the organization. When an employee is laid off, there is bound to be a gap in performance at the firm. This gap usually means that the existing employees will have to take up more roles at work to compensate for the gap in performance. When employees take on more than they are supposed to, they are bound to react negatively to the layoff. Employees will blame the management for their woes (Cascio, 2018). The management should hire a new employee to fill the gap. The gap can also be filled through promotion. The management also has the option of increasing the compensation of employees who take on extra roles in the company.

Conducting a Dismissal Meeting

Dismissal should always be the last option for management (Cascio, 2018). In cases where it is necessary, the management should ensure that the process is effective. Before laying off the employee the management should ensure that there is a plan of transition in place, the management should consult other sources such as legal experts before dismissing the employee. If the employee wishes to, he/she should be allowed to bring a representative such as a union member or colleague. The dismissal meeting should follow these steps;

Get to the Point

The manager should inform the employee from the very beginning that he/she has bad news. The manager should skip the small talk and adopt a formal tone to the conversation (Duncan & Hill, 2014). Informing the employee that it is bad news will prepare them and make the communication clear.

Break the Bad News

Directly tell the employee that their employment has been terminated (Duncan & Hill, 2014). The manager should avoid being emotional to ensure that the information is as clear as possible. The manager should state the reason for the termination. The information at this stage should be in past tense.

Listen to the Employee

The communication will be more effective if the manager listens to the reaction of the employee (Duncan & Hill, 2014). Some reactions that the manager should anticipate include shock and denial which should determine the response of the manager.

Comprehensively Explain what Comes Next

As a manager, cover all information concerning what comes next after the layoff. This information includes compensation, ongoing work, telling of coworkers, unused leave days among others.

End the Meeting Conclusively

Dismissal meetings should take place at the end of the workday. At this time, employees are leaving the organization. The manager should walk the employee to their desk to get any company property that the employee has (Duncan & Hill, 2014). The employee should leave the premises peacefully.

Compensation to a Terminated Employee

After termination of employment, the employer has various financial obligations towards the employee. The compensation that the employee gives to the former employee depends on the federal laws, the state laws and the contract between the employee and the employer. A company X should, for instance, give these forms of compensation;

Final Paycheck

A majority of state laws in the US provide for the provision of a final paycheck to an employee who has been terminated. The right to claim a final paycheck depends on whether the employee was terminated or resigned (Wilkins, 2013). Assuming that company X is based in Connecticut, an employee who has been terminated is entitled to a final paycheck in the next business day after getting fired. The final paycheck includes any leave days that were accrued over the course of the employment.

Severance Pay

Severance pay refers to financial compensation that an employee is given as a result of early termination of an employment contract. The right to a severance pay depends on the employment contract between the employee and the employer. Although the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not provide for severance pay, most permanent employment programs provide for it (Wilkins, 2013). The severance pay that the employee terminated from company X includes a specified amount of money. The lump sum payment will be one week salary for every year that the employee has been in the organization (Wilkins, 2013). Assuming that the employee of company X who was terminated worked at the organization for 11 years, she will be entitled to payments for a week in every year that she worked for the organization. The severance will be paid over the course of eleven months.

Disbursement of Pay after Termination

An employee at company X will be paid $5200 per year for the eleven years she worked in the organization.

Date of Payment Payment per Number of Years Employed Amount of Pay

January 1, 2017 One year ($5200) $5200

February 1, 2017 Two years ($5200) $5200

March 1, 2017 Three years ($5200) $5200

April 1, 2017 Four years ($5200) $5200

May 1, 2017 Five years ($5200) $5200

June 1, 2017 Six years ($5200) $5200

July 1, 2017 Seven years ($5200) $5200

August 1, 2017 Eight years ($5200) $5200

September 1, 2017 Nine years ($5200) $5200

October 1, 2017 Ten years ($5200) $5200

November 1, 2017 Eleven years ($5200) $5200

Total Amount of Severance:

$5200 X 11 years at the company = $57200

Impact of Layoff to the Company

Layoff processes affect various performance aspects of the company. These effects could be felt either in the internal environment of the company or the external environment of the company. Three main impacts to the company include;

Emotional Distress

Employees who remain behind in the company are faced with anxiety concerning whether they could be the next to be fired. Dismissal brings about anxiety especially in cases where the dismissal was as a result of downsizing (Cascio, 2018). The lack of job security for the employees will lead to poor performance, and the anxiety can further lead to conflicts due to low tolerance levels among workers.

Increase in Labor Turnover

Termination of employees in the company will lead to decrease in job satisfaction as a result of low job security. Employees will, therefore, start seeking new opportunities in companies where they won't have a fear of getting fired. Labor turnover in the company will lead to the reduction in the skills that are available in the organization (Cascio, 2018). A reduction in skills will consequently lead to a reduction in production standards of the company. Termination of workers will also create a bad reputation for the company in the labor market, and therefore the company may be unable to attract high-quality employees.

Reduction in Customer Loyalty

Termination of employees creates a bad reputation for the company. The company may gain bad publicity which will lead to the reluctance of customers to buy the organization products. Customers also prefer consistency and often establish rapport with specific employees in the company (Cascio, 2018). When an employee is terminated, customers that had a relation to the employee will be reluctant to seek the products or services of the organization.

In conclusion, dismissal of employees is a delicate issue in the organization. To cope with negative emotions after termination, the management should give notice, communicate effectively and make changes to accommodate any gaps created after termination. There are five main steps to be followed in a dismissal meeting; get to the point, give the news, listen, explain and conclude. After termination, an employee should be given a final paycheck and severance pay. Emotional distress, turnover, and loss of customers are some of the ways through which employee termination affects an organization.


Duncan, M., & Hill, J. (2014). Termination documentation. Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, 77(3), 297-311.

Wilkins, E. (2013). Silent Workers, Disappearing Rights: Confidential Settlements and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Berkeley J. Emp. & Lab. L., 34, 109.

Cascio, W. (2018). Managing human resources. McGraw-Hill Education.

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