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As the recent meltdown on Wall Street demonstrated both the U.S. and a number of European and Asian economies are far from being on the right track.

With that somber news, it is not surprising that many small businesses are not hiring, even in a number of cases letting go of current work staff. In the event your company is tasked with impending layoffs, there are ways to go about it that do not leave the office in shambles.

Along with actually severing ties with hard-working employees, one of the biggest challenges employers face after such a move is maintaining the office morale of the remaining workers. Given that some office friendships are impacted when layoffs occur, management must make sure those remaining on staff are prepared to function in their jobs.


Plan Ahead and Communicate

In the event your company is finding layoffs in the cards, there are steps to be taken to make it a little easier for those employees left behind. Among them are:

·        Plan out ahead of time as many scenarios as possible â€" Inevitably some remaining workers will be upset about losing friends on the job. Communicate to them why the layoffs were needed and what impact it will have on them as far as their workloads;

·        Be a good listener â€" Since there will likely be many questions as to why things happened as they did, listen to your employees. Do not just send out a vague press release and expect everything to be fine. Employees will have questions, you need answers;

·        Discuss the future â€" One of the most asked questions from remaining employees will be what the future holds for them. While you do not have a crystal ball, try as much as possible to reassure them regarding their jobs. The recent round of layoffs likely didn’t come as a surprise, so remaining employees are likely to be on edge regarding their positions;

·        Honesty is the best policy â€" Those employees left behind know that you cannot promise them 100 percent that their jobs are safe, but then don’t tell them that it is a 100 percent guarantee there will be no more layoffs. In the event there are, you lose the trust of the remaining employees.


What is the Company’s Vision Moving Forward?

If you’ve had to lay off employees, take stock of why it happened, what can be done to assist the remaining workers, and whether or not more layoffs are in the cards?

In a day and age when employees are under more stress due to tough financial times, the burden of not knowing if their jobs will exist from one week to another makes things even more challenging.

As an employer, you can do a lot to smooth things over in the workplace without giving a 100 percent guarantee that layoffs will not happen again down the road.

Letting hard-working employees go is never easy, but how you go about it is the key.

If it is done with compassion, is valid and is done with thought towards the remaining employees, then things can be more easily explained in the office.

If not, expect your remaining employees to question whether you have their best interests at heart.

This Business article was written by Dave Thomas on 8/8/2011

Dave Thomas is an expert writer on items like appointment setters and is based in San Diego, California. He writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on telephone answering service purchasing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs at Resource Nation.