In the corporate world, “rightsizing” is a common name for a layoff or reduction in force (RIF), and many executives prefer it to the relatively harsh term “downsizing.” Need help with your rightsizing initiative? Learn more about how our outplacement programs can assist with this by scheduling a demo.

Whichever word you choose to call the process, it’s important to break the news to employees in the correct fashion. Let’s take a look at several pitfalls to avoid when meeting with personnel during this stage.

  • Tell the employee that there is no reason to be angry. Conversely, don’t tell the employee they have a right to be angry.
  • Imply that the termination is a blessing in disguise. The employee is usually not in a position to see the brighter side of anything at this point.
  • Discuss grievances and problems from the past.
  • Engage in criticizing top management or the company. If the employee brings it up, just listen and acknowledge the employee’s views.
  • Discuss your personal relationship with the employee. Your personal friendship with the employee is not the issue at the moment.
  • Try to “fix” things or make it all right. It’s too soon for that and you are not the best person to do it.