Layoffs & Offboarding: Where to Begin

As layoffs continue, social media is inundated with all the ways leadership missed the mark.

No matter how a layoff is conducted, the need for it at all will generally create tension, but we believe that through effective planning and communication, the process can be more positive than not.

At Career Contacts, we provide a robust offboarding program which creates 3 strong opportunities:

  1. It allows an external team of experts to support the organization in a very difficult time
  2. It provides laid-off staff with the resources they need for career continuance and potentially even career advancement
  3. It invites an auditing process that allows for continuous improvement and the ability to avoid the need for future layoffs or loss of remaining staff

Here are some ways to support your leadership and organization during a layoff (and ways Career Contacts can help):

Communication Plan

Communicate openly and transparently about the layoff process and the reasons for it. Be clear about what will happen and when, and provide as much information as you can.

It is also important to be empathetic and understanding during this difficult time, and to show your appreciation for the contributions of all your employees.

Offboarding Support

Offer severance packages and outplacement support to affected employees. This can include things like financial assistance, resume and cover letter writing, how to effectively update their LinkedIn and increase their access to the current job market. Career Contacts also provides newly laid off employees with training on how to effectively negotiate their salary and how to prepare for an interview, to increase their success in landing a new role.

Stay in touch with affected employees after the layoff, and offer assistance as needed with their job search or career transition. Career Contacts can support organizations in streamlining references and updating job descriptions for employees.


Provide resources and support for the remaining employees, such access to HR and leadership, increased communication, and assurances on the future of their role, department and organization, and additional training and development opportunities to demonstrate your continued commitment to their personal and professional wellbeing.

As a Leader in an organization, there are several things you should also avoid when conducting a layoff:

Avoid making it seem as though you made a layoff decision lightly. Ensure you effectively communicate that before deciding to lay off employees, you considered all other options, such as reducing hours or cutting expenses in other areas.

Avoid being reactive. If possible, plan for potential layoffs well in advance so that you have time to communicate with your team and minimize the impact on morale.

Avoid being unclear about the reasons for the layoff. It is important to be transparent and honest with your team about the reasons for the layoff and the steps you are taking to minimize the impact on the business.

Avoid making the layoff process unnecessarily difficult or stressful for your employees.

Avoid neglecting the needs of your remaining employees. It is important to address the concerns and needs of your remaining team members and to provide support and resources to help them during this difficult time.

Ready to invest in your offboarding program?

Looking to conduct an audit of your current policies and programs?

Ready to tap into a team of seasoned, forward-thinking HR, L&D and DEI professionals?

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