PLANNING A RIF, PART 1: KEY BEST PRACTICES
|Thomas W. Morris III, Founder and President|
Consider all three populations involved: those who leave, those who stay, and the managers who have to make the decisions and give the notices. When a reduction or reorganization occurs, a ripple effect can travel through the entire organization. People who leave have needs to be met but so do those who remain, and they are the ones the organization must now rely on to maintain service and productivity.
Communicate clearly and be sensitive. Appropriate communication with all concerned is essential. What's needed is a combination of head-to-head plus heart-to-heart communication. Make sure you communicate that the decision is final, then you can be compassionate. If it's not clear the decision is final, awkwardness and miscommunication can arise. When you have to terminate someone, one goal should be to cause the least amount of resentment and the greatest amount of understanding by all those involved.
Think of a RIF as a 3-part process: Pre-Notice, Notice, Post-Notice. Have a plan for moving forward after the RIF and communicate it to those who stay. A managed downsizing -- one that is well-planned and communicated -- helps those who go and those who stay to transition with dignity and with minimum disruption to their careers and personal well-being. It also helps the organization to move forward and reestablish productivity as quickly as possible.
FOR A FREE COPY OF MORRIS ASSOCIATES' 7-PAGE "GUIDELINES TO MANAGING A REDUCTION-IN-FORCE," EMAIL US.