Communication Plan for Layoffs: 3 Things You May Not Have Known

February 21, 2017 by Raymond Lee

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Layoffs have a stigma in today’s culture. Many workers have a negative connotation of layoffs, while executives realize that they are a necessary “evil” to keep an organization running. A communication plan for layoffs is one of the most important things an organization can do to prepare for an event.


Whatever your opinion of layoffs, it is important that you have a solid strategy in executing them. At minimum this plan should consist of a budget, training for managers giving notifications, a communication plan for layoffs, an online presence policy, and a plan for survivors. Download our layoff notification script here.

Download our Layoff Script!

Communication plans for layoffs are an organization’s way of creating a standardized procedure to let employees know that events are coming. A well-executed layoff event always has a communication plan.

Creating and developing a communication plan for layoffs may seem simple, but in reality is much more complex due to the implications its can cause. Hence our list of things you might not have known about developing a communication plan for layoffs at your organization!

3 Things You May Not Have Known About Creating a Communication Plan for Layoffs

  1. Your Event Will Probably Get Leaked

Do you ever wonder why your upcoming layoff event gets leaked to the press? Your communication plan for layoffs is probably part of the issue. No matter what you do, there will always be rumors that are created around your event either by word of mouth or in the press. However, if you have a solid communication plan for layoffs, it will mitigate this issue. For example, if you have a communication plan that is tactful, empathetic, and transparent in explanations, your event will have far fewer malicious rumors in the press and otherwise.

  1. Timing Matters

Business is business, and sometimes you have to do layoffs during a horrible timeframe. However, if you have any power over the timing of your communication plan for layoffs, be strategic. Don’t send the communication out right before a holiday or a large company event where a lacking morale could hurt production. Human resources should also make sure that the communication plan for layoffs is sent out to employees with ample enough time for them to find other work. This will also help reduce the amount of malicious rumors circling your event.

  1. Online Presence is EVERYTHING

Long gone are the days when an organization didn’t have an online blue print holding them accountable for their actions. If your communication plans for layoffs are delivered poorly, you will forever be haunted by it through Google and Glassdoor. Make sure that employees have a way to express themselves in person to management, so that they don’t express themselves in very publicly negative ways online. Your team that handles online presence should also be properly prepared in how to respond to negativity surrounding the event online.

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee is the President of Careerminds, a global outplacement company based in Wilmington, Delaware. He has over 20 years of human resource, outplacement, and career consulting experience. He has his bachelor’s in psychology and holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech University. He is active in SHRM and ATD. Raymond’s been featured on SiriusXM Business Radio, CareerTalk, and the Wall Street Journal and he’s published a book titled, Clocking Out: A Stress-Free Guide to Career Transitions.

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