Tips for Delivering Separation Announcements

 Will your business need to make adjustments to your workforce in 2022?    Companies often go through periods where there is a need to make workforce changes. As we’ve seen over the past week with the debacle by the CEO of severing 900 employees via zoom, how leaders deliver these announcements matters.  
At Transition Solutions, we have been helping companies and individuals with workforce changes and outplacement services for 30 years.  
Providing frequent and timely communications during a transitional process is a key factor in a successful restructuring.  
As you think about your communications plan, we recommend the following three areas to consider:
1.  Pre-Notification to All Employees: To address anxieties that people are feeling in anticipation of the layoffs. Rumors of the restructuring have likely resulted in lower employee productivity. A communication recognizing these concerns (whether answers have been formulated or not) will ease some of the anxieties and improve productivity. The key to preserving morale during layoffs is to demystify the process for your employees.
2.  Management Training: These are questions that we anticipate affected employees might ask managers during the termination meetings. It is important that these questions be answered decisively and consistently. This set of Q & A’s should be reviewed in management training sessions before termination discussions and should be included in the manager’s packages.
3.  Surviving Employees – Post RIF: The primary goal of this communication is to provide a sense of renewed optimism and direction. It recognizes a grieving period that employees often feel following a layoff; however, the intent is to try to get employees back on track. A time of layoffs and downsizing is never easy. Separate the short-term repercussions from the long-term positive expectations. Emphasize that the layoffs are an undesirable but necessary part of the plan to get the company back on track and state plans for future growth.   As you prepare to deliver the separation announcements here is a list of do’s and don’ts. 
Prepare. Choose a private setting.
Be direct; begin immediately.
Acknowledge displays of emotion. (Pause. Say, “I know this is very hard.”)
Know the limits of your role. Refer the person to Human Resources or consultants.
Know emergency resources.
Stick to the script; refocus on key topics. (“We’re not here to talk about X. We need to focus on Y.”)
State the company’s position in a matter-of-fact tone and with neutral language.
Offer future help with networking or job leads if you are willing and will follow through.
“Wing it” or “Beat around the bush.”
Confront the person with work history/errors.
Discuss performance, age, gender, marital status, income, seniority, race, ethnic background, attendance or health.
Don’t tell people how to feel.
Generalize about the group being affected or discuss the status of other employees.
Say you know how they feel, unless you can cite your own recent job loss, or tell people how to feel.
Debate the decision.
Offer false hope or make promises.
Spend more than 10 or 15 minutes in the conversation.
Forget to tell the person about the next step.
At Transition Solutions, we’ve been helping organizations and individuals with outplacement needs for 30 years. We have developed a robust personalized and customized approach to planning and executing every situation. Our strong reputation for consistently delivering exceptional service at value sets us apart. We offer a FREE employee separation guide on our website to ensure a smooth transition.

If you would like more information on our services or additional information on planning for employee separations please check out our website at or you can contact us directly at 888-424-0003 or email us at