Layoff Communication Sample: A Beginner’s Guide

February 22, 2017 by Raymond Lee

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Sending out a layoff communication notifying your organization of upcoming changes is one of the most important parts of a layoff event. A layoff communication sample can be used to build off of and incorporate each layoff event’s particulars.


Many people confuse a layoff communication sample from a layoff script. A layoff script provides guidelines on how a manager should conduct a notification meeting with an employee getting laid off. Download our free layoff script here. This sample is a guide that shows how HR teams can communication to large groups, or entire organizations, about upcoming layoff events.

Download our Layoff Script!

It is important to build a standardized layoff communication sample so that it is readily available to customize for different types of events. This will eliminate the need to recreate the wheel, and ensure a smoother transition with lessened impact across the organization.

Things To include in a Layoff Communication Sample

  1. The logistics of the event

Your layoff communication sample can include details regarding which department and how many people will be affected. Only include as many details as allowed by your legal team and executives, but know allowing this sort of transparency is important.

  1. An explanation for the event

It is important to provide at least a simple explanation of why layoffs are occurring. This can be as simple as stating that “due to economic conditions, we are having to downsize to remain in business” in your layoff communication sample. Make sure to develop a few of these standardized explanations based on the type of layoff event.

  1. Point of contact for work processes

Make sure to include a point of contact in your layoff communication sample. Most roles aren’t completely silo-ed, so if a role is eliminated people from across the organization need to know who to contact if it directly affects their work.

  1. Point of contact for HR processes

In your layoff communication sample, make sure to include a second point of contact: one for HR questions. This will allow employees to ask questions about how the layoff could potentially affect their HR benefits.

  1. Timeline of the event

Make sure to let everyone know the timeline for your event in your layoff communication sample. This is important for productivities sake! It also allows for preparation on part of everyone in the organization if processes will be altered due to the event.

  1. Privacy

Include a statement about privacy in your layoff communication sample. This statement should let your employees know what your expectations are as far sharing this information with those external to your organization.

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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