How Organizational Layoffs Affect Employee Well-being and Workplace Dynamics

Hosted by

Sarah Morgan

CEO, Buzz A Rooney, LLC

About this episode

Inclusion Crusade 11 – How Organizational Layoffs Affect Employee Well-being and Workplace Dynamics

Host: Sarah Morgan

Guest: Charlie Pleasant, Licensed Clinical Social Worker & Founder/Executive clinician of The Healing Collaborative

Welcome back to the Inclusion Crusade, where I am on a mission to create workplaces where employees feel safe, seen and supported. One episode at a time. This week we are discussing the impact of layoffs in an organization.

– The WARN Act: How it helps employees and employers understand their rights and responsbilities

– The importance of having resources available during layoffs

– The impact of layoffs on the employee’s life


Connect with Charlie on Twitter @charliepleasant  and on LinkedIn at “Charlie Pleasant LCSW” 

Thank you for listening! Remember to subscribe on your favorite podcast app!

Transcript follows:

Sarah Morgan 0:12
Welcome to the HR Happy Hour Network. This is the Inclusion Crusade with me, Sarah Morgan. I am on a mission to create workplaces where employees feel safe, seen and supported one episode at a time. And I am so excited to welcome back Charlie Pleasant. As I mentioned in the last episode, Charlie is going to be in residence with us throughout this season, talking about hot topics in the workplace, and a little bit of fun and foolishness on current events that we’re going to squeeze in as well. So Charlie, welcome back once again to the Inclusion Crusade.

Charlie Pleasant 0:59
Thank you for having me. Glad to be back.

Sarah Morgan 1:02
Always glad to have you, the listeners love your perspective. And you and I were prepping for the show, we were talking in pre show, and decided that we want to talk about what is happening right now in the world of work with layoffs, and the impact that that has on psychological safety for people as they go forward in their careers, and the impact that it has on inclusion feelings within the organization for the people who are left behind. And so one of the things that you mentioned is that you’re, you’re in the clients that you see in the clients, that businesses that you work with, you are doing quite a bit of service around that, what are you seeing and hearing about the impact of layoffs in the workplace, and what impact that it’s having on individuals right now.

Charlie Pleasant 2:08
So one of the biggest things that I’m seeing, just in my practice, are people who are number one, just exhausted by watching, even if they haven’t been directly impacted. They either know somebody that works for a corporation or tech corporation, because that’s when we mainly seen it within the tech companies, but they know somebody that work within the tech corporations, and or they’re concerned about what that means for the organization that they’re working with it as well. So it does not take much to do a really quick Google search to find out about or either just going over to Twitter, going just going over to Twitter, or one of these social media platforms where people actually were given first hand accounts of how they were laid off from their organization, waking up the morning of and simply not being able to access anything.And that’s how they found out.

Sarah Morgan 3:07
Here’s what’s crazy about that. So first of all, there are laws surrounding like actual laws surrounding how organizations of certain sizes have to handle layoffs. It’s called the Warren Act, Google it, look it up. And it says that, you know, notice, has to be given in a certain timeframe and within certain ways, if you’re laying off a X percentage of your workforce, or X number of people in a particular location. So it feels like to me what I’m hearing in the ways that these organizations are handling these layoffs is that it’s just flying in the face of what the regulations are. And I wonder if the organization’s are just like, Fine. We’ll just pay the fines. If someone reports us if the Department of Labor decides to do an investigation if if we’re found to have violated it, the we estimate the fines for this are going to be X number of dollars is not worth it to us to do this the right way. We’ll just we’ll cut that check if right to which to me is so like, just so unfeeling and inhumane. It feels cowardly, very cowardly.

Sarah Morgan 4:39
And here’s the other thing that bothers me about it is when we began the pandemic back in 2020. And we started seeing layoffs and furloughs because of shutdown. And the fact that organizations couldn’t continue we had to buku umpteen stories of organizations just like we’re seeing now, of, I woke up this morning, yesterday, I was working remotely, everything was fine this morning, I woke up and couldn’t log in. And I got an email or a text to my personal account, my cell phone, telling me that I’ve been, you know, laid off. And here’s my severance and whatever else. And there was so much conversation at that time about how awful it is to handle people that way. So much advice given about here are the ways that you can do that better. And yet, we fast forward two or three years, and we are making the exact same mistake. And I wonder, like, I have been through several large layoffs, not necessarily to the extent of, you know, 1000s of people, but definitely dozens, hundreds, of people. And I understand, as a leader of people, how unbelievably difficult those conversations are in house, and how heavy that is. And the days when I’ve knew that those things were coming, like, I just when the day was over, I would just go home and weep. Like, I’m not even joking, because the emotional heaviness of that is so very hard. And so I can empathize with these organizations and the decision makers, when you’re having to do this 1000s of times, creating, like the time and space and people to communicate those messages, I can understand how, like you say you go the coward’s route, and you just like, send that email. And because you’re avoiding the negative emotion, that’s tied to it yourself. Yeah. For the person on the other side of that table. It there is the dignity of that person, to respect them as a human, and to respect what whoever their contribution was, to your organization enough to just have a brief conversation with them to let them know that their employment is ending, because the organization is conducting layoffs, and they are a part of that. I don’t understand why we why and we as leaders in organizations are so unwilling to do them.

Sarah Morgan 8:03
You know, I can remember when we when we had large layoffs, around COVID. I put together a snare, I didn’t do all the conversations I did some of them, because there were there were so many with every easel that was probably close to 1000, if not 1000. And I put together a script for our managers. And we we took the list, we divided it up, we said, you know, this is who you’re having your conversations with, here’s the email that you send to them. Here’s what the calendar invite that you send to them needs to say, here’s what you need to say, when you get on a call. Here’s the email that you send them after that call is over in what it needs to say what needs to be attached to it. For the people in that email that it says to call this is what you need to be prepared with like we had a plan and at the center of that plan was making sure that we gave people information that they needed to move forward in that moment, and that we treated them with the utmost sensitivity indignity. And I just don’t understand, it’s hard for me I empathize with the difficulty, but it’s hard for me to make sense of why.

Charlie Pleasant 9:27
So, I want to back up to something that you mentioned earlier and about the first of all the legal ramifications or the policies that are in place with the Department of Labor, but you mentioned it as being the the Warren Act that that has that if you’re laying them laying off or you’re reducing your work staffed by a certain amount of people, then you have a protocol and procedure that you have to have in place to actually do this. I’m really curious and that might be something that might be some that research is that did they hire me? Or did they did? Did they dismiss or have these companies dismiss right below the threshold, because if it’s right below the threshold, then it allows me to do what we just saw. Yeah. So things can happen, it’s to your point, we build it in the budget. And say, we anticipate the way that we’re going to go about this, we’re going to eat a financial cost. If there’s a fan that incurs if somebody chooses to do an investigation, or we’re going to reduce the number of people know, the threshold, so they don’t trigger the requirements. So we don’t we so we don’t trigger the requirements. Both ways, are still very countless ways.

Charlie Pleasant 10:40
But if you’re doing it below the threshold, and again, I’m just making, you know, I’m just making an assumption here, because we just don’t know what that is. If you’re doing it in that way, where you’re willing to take the financial hit, it’s something about that, that feels a little bit more, both of them feel nefarious in ways. Because you’re getting you’re giving what you’re what you’re not saying or the subtext there is, I’ve thought about this in and I’ve strategize enough to work around this, either by money or firing, or this or laying off right below the threshold. So you it’s already a thought, right? If that comes up, I definitely empathize with managers and supervisors who do find themselves in positions of having to deliver really difficult news, because it’s news that’s going to change the trajectory of somebody’s life, in what ways we don’t know once they leave our organization. But I only empathize to a certain degree. Because this is part of the work.

Charlie Pleasant 11:45
So this is part of when you take on a you want supervisory work or leadership responsibility, that this is part of the work of being accountable to your people agree, agree. So So and I love the fact that you’re giving, even just in this conversation of best practice of how to go about this, then we’re going to sit down, we’re going to draft the emails, we’re going to talk about what you need to say to them either face to face or over the phone, and then how we’re going to follow up. And so that our ad, can we build in some infrastructure for managers, leaders and supervisors to actually have some time off after that, because it is emotion. It is emotionally taxing. It is real. I can only imagine how emotionally taxing that that’s how you have to spin your Monday and Tuesday of your workweek. There’s no progress, no productivity that’s happening after that. Because if you’re Go ahead.

Sarah Morgan 12:39
How about when you and I, we had the conversation about my toxic workplace. So we had when we had layoffs there, we did, we laid off close to 50% of the workforce of one specific location. So not to trigger Warren. So you’re very right about that. And we did it in the morning. So it was probably 10 ish, in the morning, before lunch, of course, and then, but we had people who were there. Okay, so imagine that you have individuals, I am working in my little cubicle, and someone comes and gets my coworker. And they go off to the other, you know, to the other side of the building someone else comes, picks up their stuff in a little box and disappears with it. And poof, my coworker is now gone. And this is happening over and over again. The person to the left the person in front, the person behind and I’m still sitting here, and I have no idea if I’m next. I have no idea if I’m gonna you know, I don’t know what’s going on because no one has announced anything. I don’t know what’s happening. And at the end of it, the executives gathered those who remain into a room and was like, basically like it’s over. Congratulations, you survived.

Charlie Pleasant 14:27
Here like The Hunger Games. I mean, what Yes,

Sarah Morgan 14:30
t was giving Hunger Games. It was good. What was the show on Netflix with the the the different tasks that was trending last year from getting the name.

Charlie Pleasant 14:42
Oh, to talking about but it’s very much given. You got our presale code for the BR live.

Sarah Morgan 14:49
And, you know, congratulations. You’re still here. Here’s some pizza and go back to work after this afternoon. If there was no productivity to be had, there was no like, and the, and then, you know, they jump on their private jet and they leave. And the rest of us are left there to deal with all of it. Yeah. Like you have got it’s it was the it was the at one of the absolute worst days. And to your point, those of the people who remained the managers who were, you know, involved in those conversations, the people who watched their co workers pack up and go, not knowing if they were next. And now they are heat now they remain and feel horrible.

Sarah Morgan 15:47
It’s like, it’s a survivor’s guilt.

Sarah Morgan 15:50
Yeah, why me? Not them, like all of the emotions. And I’m just supposed to keep taking calls and go back and sending emails like it’s any old regular day? Absolutely not. We not and so the importance of resources, not only for those who exit, but also for those who remain are very important, particularly if your organization has any desire, whatsoever to retain those individuals long term, to rebound from those events, and to have your your culture come through that. I won’t say unscathed, but at least, you know, bent but not broken, right?

Charlie Pleasant 16:41
Because I imagine after watching that, just getting even the descriptive visual description that you’re giving up watching people around you to have their offices packed up, and then they’re gone. And then you’re there your remaining. I’m thinking, I’m probably already starting to look forward. Oh, for sure. You know, because because of a flight responses kicking in here, some of fear responses of vowel responses gonna kick in, which totally takes you offline.

Sarah Morgan 17:09
You have completely decimated the trust between you and the individuals that remain, you have completely leveled any sense of psychological safety that those individuals have in your environment. Spoiler alert, no one who survives a layoff feels good and secure in that environment. And even if they stay, they do not feel a sense of security in that environment. Likely for years, yes, years because the trauma that they hold, from that experience removes the sense of safety from them. And there is always going to be a lingering thought in their mind that this could be snatched away from me that I could be called into a room and have my stuff boxed up and given to me at any given moment. And I would imagine, and I know, I’ve witnessed this is, as you hire new people, as the organization rebounds, assuming it does, and you hire new people, the individuals that remain as they connect with those individuals and share that still share, you know, their experience that experience and they’re going to share that experience. And that’s going to create a sense of not being safe for that individual like, yeah, let me not bring in too many pictures from home. Let me not, you know, do too much decorating this cubicle. Because who knows how long it is that I’m going to be here?

Charlie Pleasant 18:52
Who knows how long I want to be here? That’s absolutely right. I went through a situation years ago when I was working in higher ed and where I was located at the University where I was, was a be more union protected. And it does work a little different with the off happen. But the impact is still changing. Yeah, the impact is the same. And I actually went through a situation that this whole conversation is just bringing me back to when everything is based on seniority when you hire again, and then who gets bumped at that point. I actually bought a collie that is a friend of mine that fell in my same department. We work in the same department. And when the layoffs came, that’s how they structured that they bumped me to her position and she was out. Oh, yeah, this is my friend. This is my friend. Yeah, this is my friend. I enjoy a relationship with this woman. Even outside of work to this day. I’m no longer with that organization. You can imagine what that feels like. Yeah. Even though we know that It is a seniority thing, it’s still the same type of process, you still in to that point of watching your colleagues or your co workers be bumped or laid off. We don’t talk about the grief that’s associated, again, to your point of those who leave. And those that remain because everybody’s grieving. Everybody has, everybody has some grief. So I don’t want to put it out there like every major corporation, that it may be, I’ll leave it up for you all to have an opinion about that.

Charlie Pleasant 18:52
But when you’re when you’re working in the department, those places can be really great places for people to work. And they can share really awesome relationships with their leadership and their managers and their colleagues. So when something like that happens, there’s just no support at all, to even talk about the grief that’s associated, we rarely talk about the mental health and the impact, beyond anxiety and depression. There is grief associated with this as well, too. Because even as we were preparing for this, I was thinking about, just oftentimes the wolf tickets, and I’m gonna just make this general hasty, hasty generalization. But the with tickets that are sold to employees when they’re onboarding is very much relational. When you’re when you’re there, your relationship somehow switches or maybe has never developed a relational, it’s always transactional. So I can come into your organization believing that and, and I really feel like I should put together just a presentation on how just the lack of color, why we should not call ourselves a family? Yeah, if we call each other family, and we’re, then we’re going to talk about the dysfunction.

Sarah Morgan 21:50
That’d be one, one or the other.

Charlie Pleasant 21:53
Because there’s no concept of it, it goes against the it’s a it’s a dissonance that happens, the person is just like they’re talking about that this was supposed to be a family place. I can’t believe they treated me it’s you create a cognitive dissidence there. Yeah, but but as the organization, you knew that coming in there, perhaps your goal was to always treat them transactional. And there are different ways to do this. But not how we’ve seen with these tax cuts, tech companies over the past few weeks or months.

Sarah Morgan 22:24
Yeah, and I think for organizations, you know, when you are trying to focus on creating a culture of inclusion, that a part of that inclusion is wanting people to feel a sense of belonging. And so that’s where I feel like the likening to family comes from, but there are lots of other groups that we can belong to, and feel a strong sense of belonging beyond just our families, you have social groups, you have sports teams, you have friend groups, and groups like you have to, I think that, that you make a very good point that likening this likening your workplace to your family is a dangerous game that we’ve been playing poorly for years, on years, on years. And I have co workers that I worked with in the past that I work with, now that I care very deeply for that they have become friends. And in some cases, they they, they are a part of my extended family, they are close individuals with me. But also to your point, like I never lose sight of the fact that one that’s rare, like that’s not going to happen with everybody. And it doesn’t change the transactional nature of my relationship. With my job, I can really, I can build really strong relationships, really strong affinity with my boss, with the other people, you know, my peers with people who report to me, and the teams that I work with, I can build those things, and it still and have that strength of connection. And still recognize that this is a transactional environment.

Sarah Morgan 24:27
And I think organizations would do well, to strike a balance to strike that balance and to talk about that more openly as they are trying to build cultures of inclusion so that you don’t so that when decisions like layoffs, and even sometimes promotions can be controversial when those sorts of controversial decisions have to be made. When you set more realistic expectations for people of what the relationship of this environment is going to be like, then then it may not necessarily trigger the same feelings. For everyone involved the feel, and it feels and two part of it, it feels like a betrayal, and will feel like less of a betrayal when you’re honest and upfront. So that’s a really great point, it’s it’s one thing to want to sell your environment and to want people to feel a high sense of inclusion and belonging that should exist in all places. But what you have to be careful to strike a balance with is is getting people to remember that there is there’s transaction involved in in work. And that’s that’s what the difference is there’s not my my family relationships are not transactional, right? That’s really, the relationships with any people that I that I love and have have a strong connection to, are not going to at some point, they transcend, transcend the part of being transactional. And work never does that. And it’s important for us to make that distinction.

Charlie Pleasant 26:10
What’s coming up for me, even as I’m listening, and we’re having this conversation is perhaps in again, just conjecture of why organizations don’t push transactional relationships to the forefront. Because it doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t not only does it not feel good, but here’s another part that we can look at it with this as well, too, if I come in, and I don’t know what this is, is an organization that I’m here to serve a purpose to do this particular job. This and I mean, we’re talking about in a very purist form, when we’re talking about transaction, I might ask for more. Because if it’s transactional, one side just can’t be winning. And I think that when we keep things very veiled in a relationship, or relational family type of thing, that’s why I can get away with a pizza and cupcake. Because that’s those are the things that you bring up bring to a relational space, and offerings and different things like that. It’s never about the money. So it’s so I’m just wondering if we keep that veiled in that kind of way, that we don’t talk about the transactional relationships that we have with organizations, it behooves the company not to sell it in that way, because they know that the transaction and going both ways, yeah, I that is spot on. And relational can bring this what what we would determine is like the soft things, the softer things, we can do a company outing or in, I think all day, all of those things are important for Oh, for building saving, but but but to your example that you gave earlier, when I’m seeing people be laid off, and then their offices are being packed up and you come to me with you survive, here’s some pizza, that’s more so on the relational my thing would be, if I’m thinking about it in the standpoint, as a worker transactional, some resources have gotten freed up. So what does that mean?

Sarah Morgan 28:14
What does that mean, for me? And in this transit transaction, right?

Charlie Pleasant 28:19
I think that in some ways that the relational piece is pushed to, to be able to have that thing in place. Because if I’m coming, and I know what I’m doing, I’m going to ask for my share, because the transaction doesn’t work without me. It doesn’t work without me.

Sarah Morgan 28:39
And the way that we have designed capitalism is that there’s always going to be a winner and a loser. And the winner is the organization, the boss, the owner, you know, whatever it is that you want to call that person, but that’s what it’s designed to do. And the person on the lesser in the losing end of that proposition is not supposed to demand more, which right in the face of this idea of free trade and exchange of goods and all, you know, goods and services. It does, and it’s part of the reason you and I talked about this in pre show, it’s part of what drives quiet quitting. Right? It’s also part of what drives what has driven a lot of people to more entrepreneurial pursuits. Because now I now I know it’s transactional. Now, I’m not there. I don’t have to, you know, be concerned about that I can do what it is that I’ve been contracted to do in the time period, that I’ve been contracted to do it and I don’t have to feel I don’t have to connect unless I choose to. Yes. point, but it’s my choice to write, there’s no expectation. I’m not oriented into the organization with these ideals, the way that I work gives me a much more semblance of control over how much I engage in how much I don’t. And that.

Sarah Morgan 30:16
And I think part of the reason why we’re seeing those things happen on the heels of COVID, the height of COVID, and everything that happened in the early stages of that, and what we’re likely to see now, with the amount of layoffs that are happening, you’re going to see people start to pursue their passions and your air to see people be unwilling to like re enter the workforce now under those kinds of traditional confines, because exactly why? Because it’s like, up the mask is off. I see. I see, you know, right behind there is no, that big face of the wizard is really just a dude that got lost, like, yeah, or has no clothes, all of those pretenses are gone. And now I’m going to operate in the way that best both serves me, you know, from from a financial standpoint, but also protects me from the grief and the trauma and the difficulties that have already felt an experience.

Charlie Pleasant 31:23
Absolutely. Absolutely. I know, we talked about a pre show, just throwing the concept out there that what you’re seeing in some of these layoffs are taking place with the corporation’s could be perhaps some of the backlash of workers empowerment that came with her call. And, you know, we saw that mainly with the great resignation, or we are seeing it. And I wonder if possibly it’s a way to level set because of an insight.

Sarah Morgan 31:53
I 100% think that that is at play in a lot of this because here’s what so with the great resignation, a lot of what happened is workers did see the transaction, the layoffs, the furloughs, the events that happened in the early stages of COVID. People realize, oh, this is not a family. This is you know, they and this organization needs me far more than I need it. Because when I got laid off, when I got furloughed, I figured out how to make $1 out of 15 cents, I figured out how to survive without this income and still be able to, you know, live my life in a way that was okay for me. So if I’m going to reenter this space, you gonna have to make it worth my while. And so we saw organizations paying higher wages for jobs than what they had been paying before. COVID. Yeah. And you had and then what we started to see was, we have people who were already in the organization, I’m in the same role as this person, but this person is making 10,000 more dollars than me. What are we going to do from an equity standpoint, because I’ve been here longer, you know, I rolled out COVID with you when everyone else was getting laid off. And furloughed, I took a pay cut, I rocked with you, and then you bring in this brand new person and pay them $10,000. And make it make sense. Yeah, right. So now I’ve got to adjust this person, and my payroll costs have gone up. So I absolutely believe that a part of what’s going on with these layoffs is a backlash, a level set of removing, like, hey, we can remove all of this and then reset wages. Because yeah, it’s something that we are more comfortable with, because layoffs has caused enough disruption that people are in are not in a position anymore, or at least they’re not in a position anymore to make the kind of demands that they were making, you know, end of 2020 beginning of 2021 into 2022 to rife with what was going on with the great resignation. So now we’re seeing that and then, but people are withholding part of their effort. Yep. Because and that’s what we’re the quiet quitting. Yeah, is all about it’s recognizing that this is there is transaction here. And what I’m what what this transaction pays for, for me, is this, this, this, this and this. So and you get this, this, this and this between eight and five? No, if you want me to be here until six, then that is going to require more from you. And it’s not pizza and a cupcake.

Charlie Pleasant 34:54
No, it’s not. And that’s and I just came across a term that I heard that I just learned you probably heard it. But to the point of also quiet quitting, there’s also quiet hiring that’s taking place. Oh, where where that looks like, I’m already within the organization, you’re passing this halls, passing additional responsibilities often without the increase in my salary happens all the time all the time, right?

Sarah Morgan 35:18
Yes, yeah, it’s just a new thing that nobody wantsto talk about, which is quiet firing, which is when I begin taking responsibilities away from you, not inviting, you know, now, this committee that you were sitting on this meeting that you would send, oh, we don’t need you to do that anymore. We’re gonna give this to such and such, give this to so and so we’re you’re left with nothing but work that doesn’t feel impactful for you. And then it makes you say, Well, I guess I’m not wanting here anymore. So I’m just going to leave the organization we see a lot with our frontline and essential staff with their scheduling. Yes, you this week, you got 40 hours. But next week, those figures only Yeah, and it’s 20 a, then it’s 25, then it’s 20. And there’s no explanation, because everyone else who was working 40 hours is still getting their 40 hours. But suddenly, there’s not room in the schedule for you, it starts to impact you economically quickly. And so now you have to go find another job, when the reality is that your manager may have felt that you were underperforming, may not have liked the way that you engage with it. Like there could be there could be legitimate reasons as to why this happens. But instead of having a conversation with you, I just quietly push you out, just quietly do the things to you, or I schedule you for shifts that I know you don’t like, I know you don’t have childcare on Saturdays, but I’m gonna put you on a Saturday and force you to call out that says, Oh, you have an attendance.

Charlie Pleasant 37:00
And I was about to say that. So that then triggers the domino effect that keeps employee or unfortunately, blames employees when they have a response to what they’re seeing, or what they’re experiencing. So to your point, I know you don’t like to shift, I know you don’t have childcare, I’m gonna plug you here, you call out. I can’t say that I didn’t give you the out a few hours. But you know what the situation was when it comes to childcare. And so I’m even thinking about the quiet firing, and how that we’re talking about the domino effect of quiet foundry, if you have particular metrics, that you’re trying to meet on an evaluation every year, and you’re getting demoted, in your responsibilities, because we know corporations set aside a certain amount of money for raises, and then there’s. So that type of thing can happen to justify me giving you a 3% or 1% or 00, and putting you on a performance improvement plan to say that you’re not meeting these things. And so it’s the subtlety that feels so deceptive. Yeah, it feels so deceptive in the way that this thing can matriculate into somebody’s career.

Sarah Morgan 38:20
And so if we’re going to talk about quiet quitting, and why people don’t want to give 110% of themselves at work any more than I think we need to give equal attention to the quiet hiring and the ways that we give people extra work without extra compensation. And the ways that we manage quietly fire people by managing them out and taking responsibility away from them, scheduling them in ways that are not ideal to create attendance and performance problems. Like let’s talk about if we’re going to talk about it, let’s talk about all of it or less keep this transactional. Like we said, and and I do my work, and you pay me for the work it is that I guess God is either one or the other is yeah, we if we’re gonna force ourselves into these kinds of binaries, then less less bliss, do it and less one or the other.

Charlie Pleasant 39:18
Yeah, yeah. So this is, I’m sure it’s more to come.

Sarah Morgan 39:23
More, more, more to come more and more to come for sure. But I think what I want listeners to take away from this, particularly, the HR practitioners listening in so much as you have authority and influence making sure that you are finding ways to treat the people who are exiting your organization with with respect and dignity and treating the people who are who remain the ones who have to have the layoff conversations, the ones who who have to pick up the work of the end visuals who are gone or just have to continue working in the environment that you treat them that you recognize the grief that those individuals are feeling, and you find ways to support them, and to be gentle with.

Charlie Pleasant 40:16
So, if I had to add on to that from a mental health perspective, for those who are laid off, and those who remain in situ, properly resource, you properly resource your people. And I think that there’s and you can correct me if I’m wrong is it’s a common practice for organization to hold on to someone’s benefits, you know, up until the end of the month.

Sarah Morgan 40:35
Usually, it depends on how your benefit plan is structured. But most organizations the end of the month is it so.

Charlie Pleasant 40:42
So if there’s ways to impact that, as you’re letting go a person or organization at least give them to your point, the dignity of being able to access mental health services, or that support for a duration of at least 90 days, or at least 90 days, because if it happens at the end of the month, and you get fired, and you get laid off on the 20th. And benefits, I don’t have time to I don’t have time, but benefits, I want it out in 10 days. So just being able to extend those benefits for people that you know that you’re going to have the release from your organization, which is a is a humane thing to do, yeah, give them space to go somewhere to work through this, because it’s a lot that they’re taking in and in a very short period of time. And for those who remain to the point that I made earlier, properly resourced these people as well, too. It is and we know that the top top people are not coming in on a day to day basis to actually do this type of this type of work of laying off people there, there are people that are getting directives to have to do this, making sure that those people have time to recover. Because if you’re in a good working environment, where you’ve had to lay off somebody that you had a great relationship with, you don’t know how that person’s relationship is going to be impacted after that supervisor or leader has to lay that person off. There are people that have good connections in workplaces, that even though that there’s a hierarchy of the of who is what in the organization, the relationship is still good. So given giving people space to actually go through the process of what it felt like to not only let go their colleagues that they work to work with side by side, but somebody that they might connect with offline, as well too, and outside of the organization. And just being able to resource those, those persons I love the idea of putting together a best practice of how this could look, combining some of the points that you talked about with preparing your staff that has to do this. And then how do we emotionally and mentally take care of our staff in the process, and on the back end of that as well, too. So I think that there’s space to create, what this could look like that treats people and centers, the humanity of the person who’s ultimately helping the bottom line in the forward projection of your company.

Sarah Morgan 42:58
Yeah. And that’s what they do. Yeah, for sure. And if anyone who is listening that may have layoffs coming up for are beginning to have conversation about the possibility of layoffs in your organization, please reach out to the HR Happy Hour Network asked to get connected with Charlie and myself, let us help you, you know, through the sorts of things on level. So we put together the scripting and the plan. Because at the end of it, don’t sacrifice the values of your organization, the core values, the things that you stand for, and don’t, karma is still real. So you know, don’t let that come around and bite you. Because you didn’t treat people well as you were having to exit them from the organization. And now it’s time for you to grow when you’re having struggle. Because the word is out of how it is that you behave

Charlie Pleasant 43:58
That you function and operate.

Sarah Morgan 44:00
These large tech companies can afford that because the name recognition alone, for a lot of people is enough to get them to overlook that. But some of the midsize and smaller companies, mistreating people at this in this transaction could permanently damage your brand. And put your organization in a position where it truly can’t ever recover.

Charlie Pleasant 44:26
And it impacts your talent base impacts who you are.

Sarah Morgan 44:30
And that is not who you attract and who you repel, and who you are. So we want to we want to help you. We’re here to do that. And so I just want to put that out there you can always reach out the contact information is always in the show notes for you to be able to reach out to the inclusion crusade crew and ask for help and guidance. So please know that that’s available to you on once again. I want to thank Charlie for being our expert in residence helping us to talk through not only these very real and difficult issues of what’s going on in the workplace, but the emotional and psychological and long term impact that it has on people through the practice that she’s doing of seeing clients, both as individuals, and then also working with organizations. That sort of input is invaluable. And it’s, it’s why we continue to bring her back and have her on this show, because that voice in this space is so very needed. I’ve been having conversations almost daily about the importance of trauma informed HR practitioners. So I want to thank you again, and we look forward to our next conversation. Thank you all for listening to the Inclusion Crusade on the HR Happy Hour Network. We will see you next time.

Charlie Pleasant 45:54
All right.

Transcribed by

Leave a Comment

Subscribe today

Pick your favorite way to listen to the HR Happy Hour Media Network

Talk to us

If you want to know more about any aspect of HR Happy Hour Media Network, or if you want to find out more about a show topic, then get in touch.