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Firing during downsizing: How to maintain morale

Posted on March 16th, 2012 Read time: 1 minutes

Sometimes a worker in HR administration may find him or herself tasked with firing hardworking employees as a result of downsizing. Although this can be difficult, it's important to maintain a professional and respectful demeanor, as handling the situation poorly may hurt future recruiting efforts, Laurie Kahn of Media Staffing Network told Radio Ink.

Kahn recommends having the conversation in person rather via email or phone, as this is impersonal and passive, and gives off an impression that the employee wasn't important enough to take the time for a face-to-face meeting.

Also, she suggests having another member of HR present during the conversation.

While this may be advisable in some cases, TLNT cites a 2009 study published in the Journal of Business Ethics which found that having a third party in the room during a dismissal "was viewed as demonstrating a lack of respect," the news source states.

Finally, Kahn believes it is better to have the conversation early in the week instead of on a Friday, as this will give the worker time to schedule a follow-up meeting to go over any questions.  

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