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Hospital Layoffs: Top Tips For HR Managers

June 28, 2017 by Josh Hrala

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Hospital layoffs are on the rise around the US right now. In March, Becker’s Hospital Review reported a whopping 21 major layoff events in 2017 alone. By May, that number had already rien to 48.

Many of these reported layoffs saw upwards of 100 people let go at once as organizations struggle to reduce their workforce, putting an immense pressure on hospital HR departments in the process.

Since the numbers continue to rise, we decided to make a tip sheet for HR managers who might be struggling to cope with the increased stress that these layoffs present.

Hospital Layoffs: A Brief Guide For Success

Step One: The Meeting

No matter what industry you are in, no one likes to lay people off. After all, these are your coworkers, they have families, bills, and other financial obligations. Just because you work in HR, doesn’t mean that having to perform this delicate task is any easier.

The first stage is the notification meeting where you will break the news to the employee. For this meeting to go successfully, you will need to have a script on paper to keep on track with what needs said. Luckily, we have one that we want to give you for free:

Download our Layoff Script!

Hospital layoffs – like any other downsizing event – are charged with emotion. This means that when you break the news to an employee, you need to give them time to vent (within reason) or hear what else they have to say while also hitting certain talking points to ensure the process is handled efficiently. Don’t make small talk, though, because nothing you say will make this easier for them to hear.

As you can see in our script, this meeting has three parts: the beginning, middle, and end. To break it down simply, the beginning is the actual notification, the middle is allowing them to talk – make sure you listen to what they have to say – the end is to go over benefits, which, even though the employee is exiting, is an extremely important part of the layoff process.

Step Two: Have Severance and Outplacement Services Ready

To ensure health and hospital layoffs go over smoothly, you will need to have a surefire benefits and severance package. What does this mean? Well, everyone knows about severance in the form of a lump sum that is meant to help your employee as they find new work, but this is rarely enough.

What your employee really needs – and deserves – is a proven path to a new job, which is why outplacement services are a must have for any severance package.

Outplacement, for those who don’t know, is a service you can provide your outgoing employee that helps them re-enter the job market. At Careerminds, we use one-on-one coaching coupled with e-learning technologies to aid workers looking for new opportunities. Using the power of the internet, we can provide outplacement for anyone in the US, getting them back to work in three months on average.

Picking the right outplacement service can be tricky by itself, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out our buyer’s guide here.

Using a benefits package that includes severance – in the form of a payment – and outplacement, helps employees who were let go during hospital layoffs find new, meaningful work while also protecting you from a tarnished reputation and possible legal action. Make sure to check with your organization’s lawyer to ensure your severance agreement is up to date.

Step Three: Make a Plan For Your Workforce

Many of the hospital layoffs in 2017 are because organizations across the country are trying to downsize their workforce. With proper workforce planning, drastic actions like these can be avoided, and it stands to reason that the best way to deal with a round of hospital layoffs is to never have a layoff in the first place.

Understanding how many people who need for your organization to run smoothly depends on many things. To help, we’ve made this easy-to-follow template to get your HR department on track:

Download Our Workforce Planning Template!

Using a layoff script for when the moment arises is a good way to stay on track during an emotional time, saying what you need to say while also allowing the employee time to breathe. Having a comprehensive severance package that includes outplacement can seriously help your outgoing staff while also protecting you, and, finally, using a workforce template to properly plan and manage your staff is a must.

When added together, these simple steps can ensure that your HR department can properly deal with hospital layoffs and possibly prevent them from happening in the future.

Josh Hrala

Josh Hrala

Josh is an HR journalist and ghostwriter who's been covering outplacement and offboarding for over six years. Before pivoting to the HR world, he was a science journalist whose work can be found in Popular Science, ScienceAlert, The Huffington Post, Cracked, Modern Notion, and more.

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