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Helping Employees Who Are Let Go

April 14, 2009

As this BusinessWeek article back in September 2008 points out (long before the widespread layoffs we are seeing now started), implementing layoffs is more than a legal issue or an economic one. The author of that article wrote: "At its core, downsizing is an ethical issue, and the good manager is concerned not just with protecting the company's financial and legal interests but also with honoring the dignity and integrity of the human beings who work on the front lines and who are the lifeblood of the organization."
To that end, in the recent downturn, many distributors want to help the employees out - they are "very concerned for the well-being of the employees" they let go," according to human resources consultant Nancye Combs in The Challenges of Downsizing, in the latest issue of MDM.
A talent management company, Lee Hecht Harrison, found in a recent survey that in comparison with 2001 - the last downturn - more employers are diversifying their severance offerings to include outplacement services. Smaller distributors may struggle more in providing these services, but many still try to offer some form of assistance.
Skip DeVilling, president of DeVilling & Associates, LLC, a Sarasota, FL-based executive employment search firm, tells MDM in the most recent issue (MDM Interview: Helping Employees Find New Work) that this help can come in the form of resume assistance, locating employment opportunities, help with computer research into local networks, and so on. He says: "You can be creative and every little bit of effort helps." Most importantly, how you treat your outgoing employees will help determine how your remaining employees react to the downsizing process.
Read: The Challenges in Downsizing
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