Be it a Startup or any other well established Business , no employee can be guaranteed a job for life. Layoffs do hurt. It is true that it isn't possible to lay off people without confrontations , discussions and mental pain, although it is possible to reduce the impact of such pain by handling layoffs effectively and compassionately too.
1. Don’t promise or imply lifetime employment at the time of employing as the future is uncertain. At the most you can assure in return growth in career and appreciation in value of their Resume in the marketplace by working at your Startup. 2. Consider other alternatives before final layoff in case there is a need to cut labor cost. See to it that this does not in any way affect your Startup's ability to meet the clients needs.
3. Consider ways to generate revenues so as to avoid layoffs’. There may be other income-generating plans which may prevent immediate layoffs .
4. Be honest with all your employees as possible. Avoid rumors which can affect the productivity and morale of your Startup team.
5. Make sure your decision is non-discriminatory. Abide by the guidelines and consider a legal counsel in case of doubts.
6. Inform the employee to be laid off privately. Have private meetings inside a cabin. Don't make the employees to be laid off learn this by seeing their names on the ' Hit List' .
7. Consider the proper timing for the employee. Inform the person at the end of the work day. Ensure to minimize the impact on the other Startup team members.
8. Prepare to console. Loss of a job can be traumatic. It can be taken as losing their identity for they may have joined your Startup with a sacrifice made in the past.
9. Offer outplacement help. Try to place the employee elsewhere asap. Offer them access to your connects and also offer your admin support in securing another job.
10. Negotiate a fair severance package. Let the employee to be laid off have a fair and reasonable treatment as to some packages such as health coverage etc.
11. During actual layoff, escort the employee off the premises in case required so. Avoid individual and organizational sabotage perpetrated by outgoing employees. Escort them with compassion .
12. Conduct an urgent meeting with those who are left in your team. Those who are remaining may be concerned about their own job security. Talk to your Startup Team about the future, Listen to their Q's and answer them with clarity .
13. Avoid extravagant spending following layoffs’. Do not treat post layoff period as an independence to spend lavishly or making increments or offering perks to existing Startup Team members.