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Optimum Talks Blog

Virtual Layoffs in Times of Crisis – Optimum Talent’s Tips

by Optimum Talent

COVID-19 is, unfortunately, a virus that will go down in history. Its impact reaches beyond individual health; meaning it affects society as a whole, sometimes forcing organizations to close their doors indefinitely. It is changing how we work and making remote work a staple for the economy. In addition to this, the stock market sector heralds a difficult recession to follow. The coronavirus will have wreaked havoc at all levels on a global scale.

The Human Resources sector has been severely affected by this pandemic crisis. The sector’s current focus is on employees and teams who need support, both to cope with individual stress and organizational stress. Unfortunately, the economic downturn will force some companies to dispose of certain talents, either temporarily or permanently.

In the age of the pandemic, how can we virtually carry out layoffs while also ensuring an approach that respects human dignity despite the social distance imposed on us?

Here are our virtuous tips for layoffs in virtual mode:

  • Book at least one hour to give the person time to process, and so you don’t appear rushed.
  • If possible, use video conferencing instead of regular phone calls.
  • Test technology before the call.
  • Practice your script and stick to the message. When using technology remember it may take longer because it is hard to read body language.
  • Allow for silence as the person is processing the information. Don’t try to fill in the gaps.
  • Mute your phone when not speaking.
  • Allow for an array of emotions; tears, anger, shock.
  • Be empathetic.
  • Use a neutral tone and speak slowly.
  • Conduct the call in a quiet and private room.
  • Everyone is different, so be sensitive to their needs.
  • Ensure all documentation is prepared, checked for errors, and ready to send immediately following the conversation.
  • Allow time after the call to gather your emotions.

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