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How leadership and HR can manage money-saving job cuts

As companies continue to feel the financial effects of the cost-of-living crisis, many leaders and HR professionals are having to make tough decisions about the size and structure of their workforces, this may include some job cuts. Following a year rife with money-saving layoffs, it seems even the largest and most prosperous businesses are tightening their purse strings.

In the past few months, a flurry of large businesses have made significant redundancies from Mark Zuckerberg-owned Meta announcing 11,000 layoffs, online fashion giant ASOS with 100 roles axed, through to Made.com entering administration, leading to the loss of 573 jobs.

Cutting jobs should always be a last resort, but assuming all other options and possibilities have been exhausted we look at how HR and employers can manage money -saving job cuts.

Be straightforward and transparent

It’s important that before announcing any layoffs business leaders must be upfront and transparent about the cause behind the job cuts and the impact it will have on the business.

You must be clear, careful and compassionate to ensure employees understand why you are doing this.  Explain all other options leaders considered and walk through how you are supporting the employees impacted by the layoffs.

Communicate with empathy

Individual leaders who are front and centre of their teams, should communicate redundancies rather than HR or leadership. The conversation needs to be ethical, empathetic and thoroughly thought-out; it is always better to deliver sensitive news through one-on-one conversations instead of group meetings.

Remember how you treat impacted employees is very telling to employees that are still working there.

Spell out the details

Don’t make laid-off employees do the legwork to understand their rights when it comes to severance money, job placement, reskilling and upskilling assistance, health coverage, and other benefit information. Explain everything in detail — and be prepared to answer questions.

Workers who have been made redundant may ask for more information on why they were let go or other incentives, and leaders should have the answers and documents ready.

Be mindful of remaining workers’ concerns

It is important to recognise that this is a difficult time for the whole workforce, including existing and redundant employees. Managers and leaders should be available to support the remaining staff and be clear about the future without overpromising.

Inform existing employees of any adjustments that may be required as a result of job cuts and explore how the team can function as efficiently as possible.

If you have to make any redundancies, it is important to comply with legal requirements. Seeking legal and HR guidance is crucial. If you would like advice on this matter, then please contact hr inspire’s expert HR team – Hertfordshire’s leading HR consultancy which can bring your business the benefits, protection and experience of an entire HR department.

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