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6 Mistakes Leaders Make When Announcing Layoffs

Layoffs are trauma-inducing for an organization and its employees. When handled badly, some people (and organizations) never fully recover. Leaders make six common mistakes when communicating layoffs: 1) They’re not transparent about the state of the business; 2) They’re not clear on the path forward; 3) They don’t get the tone right; 4) They don’t offer remaining employees the opportunity to ask questions; 5) They don’t bring middle management on board; and 6) They don’t show appreciation to departing employees.

Most leaders recognize that the true test of their character comes in difficult times, when a change in business conditions demands a shift in strategy in order to create and preserve enterprise value. And because people are usually the single largest expenditure on an organization’s balance sheet, layoffs often become discussion item number one.

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