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Community insights: Planning and executing layoffs

In times of volatility, layoffs are common, but still difficult to manage well. In a recent Ask Me Anything (AMA) session, we spoke to Adrianne Barlow, a Senior HRBP for Revenue at SaaS scale-up Cognism who has managed multiple layoffs at various organizations, to give her expert input on how to do it successfully. The full AMA can be viewed in the video below, and here are a few key takeaways. 

Be honest about the why

Silence, incomplete information, or inaccurate information, give fertile ground for rumors to fly and negative feelings to build up. If the company is struggling financially, just say that. This helps trust to survive with those affected AND those who are not affected, and helps young workforces typical in tech scale-ups to understand the basics of business and financial literacy. 

Think of creative ways to provide good redundancy packages

Providing a package that goes beyond the minimum statutory requirements can go some way to taking the worst of the sting out of being laid off. And from a reputation point of view, it also can help minimize potential damage in terms of Glassdoor reviews and negative word of mouth. However, you may not be in a position to offer extra cash, even if you want to. But what you may be able to do is offer other extra perks, such as interview training, laptop or other equipment, and so on. And in addition to minimizing the external damage, this also does something to reassure remainers that if the worst happens they too will be looked after. 

There is an enormous amount more of expert insights in the full AMA, which you can watch below!

Well-being through and after downsizing is critical

The AMA contains a great deal of very practical, battle-tested advice in terms of how to mitigate risk, maintain psychological safety, and treat people fairly. But a valuable addition to this list is not just to take the steps to execute layoffs properly, but also to go through them and come out the other side with a motivated and engaged team. 

That’s where a structured, objective approach to measuring and managing well-being can help. 

In fact, organizations with employees who agree with the statement “My employer cares about my well-being” have better employee retention, lower rate of absenteeism and burnout, and stronger employee advocacy. And data from the Quan platform shows that teams see an average improvement of 25% across all well-being dimensions that they report as growth opportunities (such as employee engagement), over a 12-week cycle.

To share your current challenges around well-being, and learn more about how Quan may be able to solve them, contact us

Rhys Wesley

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