Restructuring Company in Order to Continue Operations
Good Afternoon Team, I have called each of you here for this unscheduled meeting because I want to be the first to share with you upcoming changes that will have an effect on each of us. I have just been informed that due to the impact of Covid-19, the company must restructure in order to continue operations.
Part of the restructuring includes centralizing some functions and decreasing staff. This means that we will have to lay off some co-workers. The co-workers that will be laid off have not been identified and we do not know how many co-workers will be laid off.
What I do know is that employees who are laid off will receive unemployment and will be paid any accrued vacation and sick time and health insurance premiums will be covered for one year after the effective date or when the coworker is rehired or gains other employment. In addition, the restructuring should position the company to regain momentum in eight months, if so there will be a recall of all laid off employees. However, there is no guarantee, but if all goes well, this is the plan.
Anyone who is laid will continue to have access to the employee assistance program and all of it’s benefits for up to a year after the laid off effective date. If anyone would like to voluntarily be laid off please send me an email stating such.
I understand that this may cause feelings of uncertainty and even fear which I experienced when I was initially informed. You can rest assured that I will continue to have an open door policy and as I receive information, I will share with each of you. Does anyone have any questions at this time?
I am using a strategy of transparency, candor, and compassion. Instead of referring to the employees as employees, staff or workers, I used the term co-workers. I communicated the bad news while sharing the projected turn around and time frame. I prepared for the meeting by getting a clear understanding of what was actually transpiring within the company and how benefits will be effected by the changes.
I made sure that I spoke with HR to get a clear understanding of how unemployment would work and the plan for recalling employees. I also came up with a list of possible questions that could be asked of me. Short term benefit of restructuring will increase revenue while cutting cost.
Long term effect of not restructuring at this time could cause the business to ultimately fold. Since the coworkers to be laid off have not yet been identified, I checked with my supervisor to ensure that the company would allow for voluntary lay offs. Voluntary lay offs could be beneficial to both the employer and employees.
(1) I asked the other managers in the company when they would be sharing this information with their teams and we agreed that it would be best to all share at 2 pm the same day. This would help prevent fear created by the rumor mill and miscommunication if one team knew before the rest.
When delivering the information I will use empathy and relate to their feelings. I will allow time for questions despite not having any additional information. My response for questions that cannot be answered at that time would be, “Unfortunately, I do not know how that will be handled at this time but as that information becomes available, I will be sure to communicate it with everyone via email or face to face meeting.
If an employees gets highly upset, I would respond by saying something like, “I definitely understand your position and I know how this can be overwhelming however I am here to help you navigate this process and make the best decision for you and your family”.
Good afternoon team. Thank you for joining us on such short notice. I asked you here to discuss some changes that will take place within the organization in a bid to reduce the loss of revenue. The company is undergoing a reorganization, which will result in mass downsizing. At the moment, it is not yet clear which departments will be affected and who will be will be laid off.
That notwithstanding, I endeavor to be transparent in sharing information as I receive it. I understand this is not the kind of news you were expecting to hear when I called for this meeting. I will be engaging the management on how best to handle this issue to ensure productivity and results are maintained. Before I continue, I would like to pause to answer any questions?
[Questions and answers ]
This is a challenging time, but I would like to urge you to remain positive and focused despite the circumstances we are in. I will be giving updates from time to time, and I would be glad to meet with you one-on-one, whether you have ideas on how best to navigate this moment, questions, or concerns.
The main objective of the communication is to inform my team of the downsizing while maintaining productivity and the results. To best achieve this objective, I have to prepare myself well before convening the meeting. One of the ways to prepare is to understand why the decision to downsize was made (Gallo,1).
It will involve asking my boss various questions and seeking clarification before meeting my team. I will also review some of the frequently asked questions in such a scenario. Similarly, I will rehearse what I am going to say to avoid sounding unnatural.
To avoid feeding the rumor mills, I will convene a meeting as soon as practically possible. In this case, the meeting will take place in the afternoon a few hours after I got the information. I will show empathy by expressing my understanding of the situation and the challenging times ahead. Throughout the meeting, I will maintain eye contact and an upright pose to avoid passing a mixed message.
Instead of sugarcoating the message, I will be direct. The direct approach will help the team digest the message faster(Andersen,2). By promising to engage the management, I will show my team; I am out to protect them.
In the event some employees get highly emotionally upset, I will allow them to vent out. To say what they feel and think as I calmly listen. Andersen intimates that delivering bad news without allowing people to respond is akin to dropping something nasty on their seats and walking away(2).
Amy Gallo.2015. How to Deliver Bad News to Your Employees.HBR
Erika Andersen. 2013. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikaandersen/2013/03/06/how-great-leaders-deliver-bad-news/#4ff47ba33dc6 RE: Week 6 DiscussionCOLLAPSE