Layoff Plan Template: It’s Not as Difficult to Make as You Think

February 22, 2017 by Raymond Lee

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It’s important for your organization to develop a layoff plan template for standardized use across all departments and functions. There are several reasons that your organization might conduct a layoff. For example, executives might conduct a company-wide layoff due to budget issues, an account might be lost making employees working on said account redundant, a merger could create the need to downsize secondary functions, or a department may decide to outsource. 


To make sure that all of these situations are handled within company policy, and to uphold ethical standards, a layoff plan template is important. Your HR department should work on creating a standardized layoff plan template that includes: a layoff script for notification givers (download our free layoff script here), a timeline, notification papers, press releases, and communications to be sent out to the entire organization.


Download our free layoff script to improve your notification event.

There are several items that you will want to be sure to include in your organization’s layoff plan template. The most important of those items have been listed below.

Layoff Plan Template: Items to Include

Email to Notify Executive Level Stakeholders

It is important that your executives know about layoffs early on to prepare for the impact it could have on their own departments. Make sure to have a standardized email to notify them in your layoff plan template.

Organization-Wide Announcement

Depending on the size and functions affected by the layoffs, it is important to send out communications notifying the entire organization of the change.

Timeline of Notifications and Event

Your organization should have a company policy that explains the standards in regards to a timeline for layoff events. For example, you could set up a standard layoff event timeline that consists of six weeks. In the first week you would notify executives and prepare documentation. In the second week you would notify the organization, and in the third you would deliver the individual notifications. This would leave three weeks for the employees getting laid off to search for work and wrap up loose ends at your organization.

Standardized Policy Document

When someone is laid off, HR should provide him or her a document listing their benefits in their exit from the organization. This part of the layoff plan template can include outplacement, how to draw out money from a 401K, etc.

Negative Publicity Policy

Prepare a policy that will instruct those of your remaining employees on how to engage with negative publicity about the layoff in person and online. Sometimes overlooked, this can now be one of the most important parts of a layoff notification plan template due to the effects of negative publicity on employer brand long term.

Layoff Script for Notification Givers

A layoff script is essential for notification givers. It can provide clarity on how to best approach the notification, and ensure that your organization has a standardized approach. Download our free layoff script here.


Download Our Layoff Script Here!
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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