Though a tough decision, some organizations will be faced with the need to reduce their workforce when the economy isn’t doing well this coming year. For small and mid-sized companies, this can be even more complicated since most of these organizations have a tight structure.

The human resource manager’s job is to handle these layoffs within a company. To do this successfully and with as little strife, consider the following tips.

# 1  – Mentally Prepare Yourself

One of the most important things for the human resource professional to do is to get mentally tough. Since part of your job is to get to know individuals you hire and manage well, it can be very hard to let them go. These uncomfortable conversations can be difficult. Sometimes, seeking guidance from a mentor can help. Having a support system is very important. Being compassionate, in a business-like manner is just as important. Keep things professional.

#2 – Know What’s Happening in the Workforce

It’s important to test the temperature of the organization to determine what type of reaction is likely from the workforce if layoffs are announced. It’s important to be positive and encourage to employees, but also to provide some mental preparation for the changes to come. Sometimes, it is necessary to meet with key management to find out who knows what is happening within each department. Who will be most effective by the layoffs? Are leaders communicating with each other on how to handle the change?

#3 – Evaluate the Situation Before and After

Going into this, it is a good idea to have a picture of what the departments look like both now and after the downsizing. It is necessary to move workloads to manage the new balance properly. It may also be necessary to handle a management review of the personnel left to determine who needs additionally training.

#4 – Is Quality Impacted?

There is no doubt that quality can be put on the line in situations like this. The entire organization will need a morale boost to ensure the transition goes well. It is also important to work with management to determine who needs to be cut based on low performance or financials. Reviewing this process now will help ensure the work environment does not negatively impact the business’s quality.

#5 – Follow Up

It is also important to follow up with those who are recently laid off. There is paperwork that goes with the process. The leaving staff need to know about how their wages and benefits will change and final paychecks need to be managed properly with all company equipment turned in first. Unemployment processes need to be factored in and Cobra notifications need to be made.

It is a challenge to manage these types of corporate layoffs, but human resource managers working together with management can ensure the process goes as well as possible.