Term Paper: Coordinating and Heading the Dismissal Meeting

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Coordinating and Heading the Dismissal Meeting

One of the inevitable consequences of the human resource management function is the periodic need to lay off workers as the result of downsizing, for cause, or for other reasons. A growing body of research confirms, though, that jobs mean more to most people than just a source of income, and when jobs are lost, people experience a wide range of negative emotions and reactions that can adversely affect their health or cause other undesirable responses including violent reactions. Clearly, laying people off requires a careful, step-by-step approach that takes these and other issues into account in order to facilitate the process and achieve an optimal outcome for everyone involved. To this end, this paper provides a review of the relevant literature to identify three ways managers can cope with the negative emotions that are associated with the separation experience and a step-by-step process for conducting the dismissal meeting. An evaluation of the compensation the company may provide the separated employee is followed by a proposed timeline for the disbursement of this compensation. Finally, an assessment of three ways this layoff may affect the company is followed by a summary of the research and important findings concerning these issues in the conclusion.

Review and Analysis

Three Ways a Manager Can Cope with any Negative Emotions and Employee Layoffs

For many people, jobs mean far more than just a paycheck. Indeed, jobs for many people mean security, status and identity, and when people are laid off for whatever reason, there is a concomitant loss of these important aspects of the human condition that invariably have negative consequences (Stewart & Brown, 2012). Moreover, the process of laying people off can have adverse effects on the surviving employees as well as their managers. In this regard, Lin (2012) emphasizes that, "It seems downsizing is a two-bladed sword, employees laid off along with managers laying others off feel distress" (p. 131). Therefore, formulating effective strategies for helping employees and managers deal with lay offs is a critical aspect of human resource management (Lin, 2012).

Three ways of coping with the negative emotions that are associated with employee layoffs include the following:

1. Compensating the laid-off employees with more generous severance packages (Lin, 2012);

2. Providing outplacement services to help laid off workers find new jobs (Stewart & Brown, 2012); and,

3. Providing psychological counseling to help laid off workers cope with their grief and anxiety over their job loss (Stewart & Brown, 2012).

Many authorities agree that helping terminated employees stay focused on their job search while avoiding the negative fallout that can result from being laid off can help layoff victims improve their chances of finding a new job while minimizing the anxiety and grief that are concomitants of the process (Lin, 2012).

Step-by-Step Process for Conducting the Dismissal Meeting

Although every dismissal meeting will be unique in some fashion, there are some negative reactions that can reasonably be expected in virtually any such meeting. An important point made by Stewart and Brown (2012) for dismissal meetings, though, is the potential for negative reactions that may escalate out of control. According to these authorities, "Outplace services can help alleviate some of the anxiety associated with job loss. Nevertheless, the actual event in which a person is told that his or her employment is being terminated is highly stressful" (Stewart & Brown, p. 276). There are some step-by-step procedures that lay-off managers can follow to help minimize these negative outcomes, including conducting the meeting face-to-face and avoid conducting dismissal meetings on Fridays (Stewart & Brown). According to Stewart and Brown, "Most experts agree that employees should not be dismissed on a Friday. A late-week dismissal leaves the terminated employee with two days of time before actions can be taken to recover from the bad news" (p. 277). By contrast, dismissals conducted earlier in the week allow the dismissed employees more time to regroup and begin their new job searches in earnest (Stewart & Brown).

Most authorities also agree that it is useful to have a third party present during the dismissal meeting to serve as a witness and to notify company security in… [END OF PREVIEW]

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