Notifying the employee
Prior to meeting with the impacted employee, the manager should anticipate the employee’s reaction to the news. If the manager anticipates a threatening response, the individual may request a “witness” in the room or outside. This could be the HR Professional, VCU Police, or other supervisor. The manager should consider holding the meeting in the afternoon or at the end of a shift so that the employee could go home right away, if needed. Additionally, if possible, it is best to avoid conversations on Fridays and work holidays so that employee can follow up with questions the following day.
- Thank employee for service and/or contributions (time at VCU, with department, and major projects, etc.)
- Consider explaining how the decision was made.
- Reason for the meeting: Notify employee of workforce reduction (layoff, demotion, reduction in hours, etc.).
- Inform employee of effective date.
- Inform employee that the HR Professional will be reviewing benefit options and resources available. Provide name of HR Professional and meeting date.
- Ask employee if they have general questions, but do not answer questions about anything of which you are unsure. If questions are specific, advise employee to write down questions to pose to HR Professional in meeting. Let the employee know you are available for questions should any come up later.
- If multiple employees are impacted, you may consider requesting the employee maintain confidentiality until further notice. If employee asks about details of other employees, let them know that information can’t be shared at this time.
- In closing, acknowledge the difficulty of situation and reinforce gratitude of time and/or service.
Notifying the team
Prior to meeting with the team, the manager should anticipate employees’ reactions to the news. The manager should consider holding the meeting in the afternoon or at the end of a shift and avoid Fridays and days before work holidays, if possible, so that employees can follow up with questions the next day. If multiple employees will be impacted, hold those meetings/notifications prior to this team meeting.
- Meet with the impacted individual prior to holding a meeting with the team.
- With the team, identify the reason for the meeting. Acknowledge that a workforce reduction is going into effect due to [reason] and when.
- Explain the effect it will have on the team. Examples: work redistribution, reallocation, etc.
- Reassure the team that impacted employees have been provided with resources. (Information may be related to the following: benefits, severance, unemployment, counseling services/EAP, etc.).
- Reassure the team that at this time no other reductions are planned.
- Let the team know you are available for questions at any time. Ask if they have any questions at this time.
- Provide information for counseling resources, i.e. EAP, career counseling, resume writing and interview assistance.
- Thank them for their time, contributions and continued support and effort.