Profitability is the object of all businesses, whether they are small or large businesses. It is a given that organizations want to increase revenues and decrease costs. After all, companies want to report higher profits for their investors and shareholders. Therefore, it does not matter if we are in a pandemic; organizations must continuously take a head count and determine what people are required.
With that in mind, Human resources and Senior decision-makers often find themselves in positions where they may need to downsize the number of employees in their companies. Often these decision-makers must painstakingly consider what job functions can be reassigned to other employees and what employees need to be downsized.
When these decisions are made, family members of employees are directly or indirectly affected. For each person who is downsized, there is a multiplier effect of 2, 3, 4 or perhaps even five or more family members who may be impacted by the decision to restructure one person from the organization. These other family members are often dependent upon the decision-maker who has been restructured. The schooling, basic living requirements, and extra-curricular activities of all family members can be significantly impacted by the layoff of one family member.
Missed Opportunity for Compassion when Downsizing at Better.com
Now, let’s reflect on a layoff of 900 employees from Better.com. Given the possibility that the layoff may impact 3 or 4 family members on average for each employee, it can negatively affect many people. Many will remember how the news was delivered by its senior leader. All people were called into a video meeting and abruptly told that they did not have a job anymore. There were reports that the CEO wanted to give only one week’s severance pay to each laid-off employee. Media reported worldwide the cold manner with which a Better.com layoff notice was delivered to its employees. Many employees complained about the lack of empathy and consideration that affected the laid-off employee and their families.
Downsizing Preferred Practice
I suppose if there is anything I have learned in my 20+ years of career experience in working with employees who have been downsized, it is that consideration is a critical element in ensuring that notice is compassionately delivered to downsized employees.
Like communicating any bad news to anyone in life, it is essential that the HR Professional show compassion and consideration when planning to downsize each employee.
There is never a great time to downsize. However, please try not to lay off anyone just before or immediately after a holiday, birthday or another special day in a person’s life.
Many of us have been downsized in our careers. We know how we felt when the news was delivered. Whether you have been laid off or not, it is essential to self-check when you plan to downsize an individual. Continuously ask yourself throughout the entire layoff process how you would feel if it were you who was being laid off. By considering how you would feel if you were being laid off, let this be a guide to ensure that you plan and downsize an employee with the same compassion and care that you would want for yourself.
Compassionate Downsizing Guide
Do your research first. Become an expert on the laws and rights of an employee laid off. Learn and apply the laws concerning severance pay in the province where you are located. More importantly, be “fair and reasonable” for the time of service that the employee was with the organization.
Plan to do the downsizing in person, if possible. This has been complicated during a time of a pandemic or distance between the person who is delivering the news. Conduct the meeting ideally on a Tuesday or Wednesday (the middle of the week), and when you think fewer people may be present in the office. Schedule the meeting in a more isolated room from other employees or managers.
Learn as much as you can about the employee who is being downsized. Seek out information if they have a partner/spouse, family or friend that they can contact after the employee has been delivered the news.
Schedule a meeting on a day that is not on a birthday or religious holiday or is too closed to a special or an important day in the employee’s life.
Prepare and communicate a very well-planned message to the employee. Let them know that this layoff decision is a business decision. Although they may want to ask a lot of questions, keep to your prepared message, assuring the employee that the decision is a business decision and that you and other HR professionals in the company would like to help them as best as your company can, to navigate through this transition period as they look for new employment
After communicating the news about the downsizing to the employee, provide this employee with the opportunity to express his thoughts. Tell the employee that personnel in the HR department will do what they can to positively support them during this transition. Tell them that you empathize with their situation. Emphasize that you and your colleagues will do what they can to help them through the period of layoffs.
Offer them career transition or coaching support. Encourage the employee to utilize the services of an Outplacement Consultant that the company is offering them as this support will help them during this critical time in their life. If the company has an Employee Assistance Program, show them, Employee Assistance Program’s services.
Schedule a suitable day and time with the employee so that he/she can pick up his possessions.
Be prepared to offer the employee a taxi to drive home. Even if they have their car, they should still be offered a taxi. They and a friend should be picked up in the car later.
Offer a reference to employees if it is the company’s policy.
The above ideas are some recommendations a company’s HR professionals and managers should consider when downsizing an employee.
Downsizing is often not easy for the employee who has been downsized. In most cases, the company HR professional who delivers the news may be stressed and worried about providing the news to the laid-off employee. However, if proper time, consideration, and compassion are considered in the planning, preparing, and delivering the notice of a layoff, the event can occur more smoothly. And it should always be remembered that compassion and consideration should be provided to any employee who has been downsized.
Brian Epstein is a business coach in Toronto and has helped many entrepreneurs and small businesses get to the next level. Many businesses, large and small, are based in Canada’s largest city. Read more to find out why he recommends that all business owners and executives use a business coach to increase their likelihood of success.
Why do executives and entrepreneurs needs a business coach in Toronto?
A common trait among the most successful people in business is that they recognize that they are not perfect. No matter the level of success that they reached in their careers and how profitable their companies have become, they acknowledge that they can be better leaders. They know that there are always opportunities to improve their businesses and achieve greater profitability.
That is why the very best leaders in the industry see the value of what a business coach in Toronto can do for them. Successful business leaders, such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and the late Steve Jobs, have relied heavily on the support of multiple coaches and mentors to give feedback and objective advice. This support makes business leaders accountable leaders and helps them achieve their goals. Often successful business leaders refer to their coaches and mentors, as their own personal “Board of Directors”.
Why are more business leaders use coaching today?
In recent years, Canadian business has been thriving. The nation is fast becoming a global leader in a variety of business sectors. However, with rapid changes in the Canadian and world economy, many senior executives fear that there may be an impending leadership crisis.
The job of making high level decisions in a business organization has never been more challenging and stressful. Shifts in the market are happening very quickly and everything has become more complex. In today’s business climate, business owners and leaders are under enormous stress as they deal with the pandemic. The fast-paced evolution of information technology, the fickleness of a very youthful workforce, and the financial commitments that face leaders and their organizations, add to the stress and increased legal scrutiny that organizations endure.
Business leaders who feel that they can fly solo and handle their commitments without the support of others, will often quickly burn out. Chronic job burnout leads to high-levels of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion and impact their behavior at work in a significant way. Burnout across executive and senior management may cause issues for any business that relies heavily on the competence of their top executives.
More and more entrepreneurs and executives are working with a business coach in Toronto to help them have effective leadership skills and optimal performance. In the small business sector alone, a recent joint study by Infusionsoft, a leading vendor of sales and marketing software to small and mid-sized businesses) and Emergent Research (a research facility and consulting firm also focused on small businesses), revealed that owners of startups and small businesses are increasingly using coaches for overcoming challenges. The study “Defining and Achieving Small Business Success,“ reported that almost all respondents admit to using one or more coaching resources to help them overcome their business and personal challenges.
How can a Business Coach help you?
Business coaches have become an integral part of Canada’s business sector by playing a key role in providing business with support to leaders and their teams. This two-way relationship between executive and coach can offer many benefits no matter what stage their business may be in.
Business and Executive Coaches Can:
Provide education and training to help executives and their employees improve, overcome challenges, learn new skills and deal with complexity.
Provide the outside perspective you need to help you think outside of the box so you can keep on bringing in fresh ideas that will increase profitability.
Identify blind spots and roadblocks and hold you accountable in achieving your goals. You will be tasked to go beyond your comfort zone.
Provide guidance when you are feeling really “stuck” and having trouble in moving forward. This guidance can help you to connect the dots and go from point A to point B to get to the next level in your business.
Provide objective assessment and observations to help you enhance your self-awareness and build relationships with others. They can help you work in developing self-mastery in professional relationship management and communication skills. They can help you create a more healthy and productive work environment, which will enhance the productivity of your employees.
Help you identify and learn new and innovative techniques to stay abreast of the latest trends.
Provide training and education to develop both executives and promising up-and-comers, to build future leaders and prevent turnover.
Provide advice to help you re-evaluate priorities, take stock of what is really important and decide what actions to focus on as you reach a new level of success.
In a report by the market research firm IBISWorld, business owner Noel Theodosiou describes how a professional Business Coach has helped her performance and growth over the years, “I would attribute a lot of my success to the way that coaching has changed my perspective and made some things easier and made me prioritize my emotional energy and my time.”
Do companies and executives get value from business coaches?
Engaging the services of a business coach in Toronto, can prove to be a worthwhile investment. In a report by Canadian research firm IBISWorld published in July 2017, the demand for business coaching in corporate Canada has grown over the past five years – it is expected to continue to grow in the next five years as conditions for business improve. Updated data shows that the increased demand business coaches, comes from senior executives and management.
This rising demand simply shows that business coaching does work and can help business owners and executives get better results. The connection is simple:
Business Coach = Business Owner / Leader Efficiency = Business Profitability
The job of an entrepreneur, CEO or other high performing individuals, in a fast-paced environment, is very unique. The position requires more than simply “calling the shots.”
These leaders must have a thick skin, take criticism well and not be easily upset or insulted. They must be able to accept quality feedback to ensure that their business reach its objectives.
Another important trait that managers and executives need, is to be able to make empowered decisions. Leaders a are often the final decision makers, therefore it is important to react to market conditions swiftly and to make sure that those decisions are aligned with the business’s mission, vision, values, and goals.
So how can a Business Coach in Toronto support and Corporate Leaders and Business Owners?
Business coaches can help executives be more effective in developing the skills and competencies they need to ensure that they have the ability to address the challenges and opportunities that come with their jobs.
Many businesses and organizations across Toronto are now making business coaching a core part of their leadership development programs. The key decision makers use business coaching as a tool to develop current and future leaders. This is because coaching focuses on the development of skills and their application for better results.
Hiring a business coach is an investment that will continue to yield a return on investment for many years. According to an ICF Global Coaching Client Study, ROI for business coaching is very high – usually as high as a six-fold return in the form of improved work performance and productivity, as well as improved business management and team effectiveness.
Regardless if you are a small business owner or a top executive in one of the Fortune Global 500 Canada Companies, it is important to use the services of coach to develop the planning, time management and decision making competencies of business leaders and managers.
Now that you have taken the time to read this article, I hope your ready to take your business to the next level by utilizing a leading business coach. I encourage you to take the first step and set up a 30-minute call. Your success is just a call away.
TO learn more, book an appointment with brian now!
To be a successful leader who excels in your industry and cultivates the best employees, it’s important to look both to the past and to the future. The new year is to be a good time to think about, for example, time-management techniques. After all, don’t you want your business environment and employees to be as efficient and productive as possible?
Maybe you’re also thinking about refining your digital presence and sharing the wealth of wisdom you’ve accumulated as a corporation. Are you doing a SWOT review? Perhaps a thorough examination of your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats can help you prepare going into the new year.
As a Business Coach that helps companies review their end-year results and look ahead, I have found this to be true. One of your most strategic initiatives is the people who make up your workforece. I believe that the success of your company comes directly from treating people well. Here are a few ways
There are easy ways to instill loyalty and keep your employees happy. Send brief personal letters to employees thanking them for their particular achievements can be a great holiday gesture. It maybe even more important in the new year, when the festivities have wound down, and normal/abnormal business life returns. Humanity in the corporate world can pay great dividends, and definitely show a strong ROI.
Consider being a mentor when you can – sharing the gift of your years of experience to help someone just starting out. Take time to develop corporate mentorship programs. When done right, these programs can highly benefit employees, their managers and the bottom line.
The year-end is also often a great time to find and hire top talent. It’s equally a good time to think about creating and developing leadership training. Professional development is what leaders, management and other employees want. Investment in professional development is the kind of ‘gift’ that lasts year-round and beyond. A dedicated leadership program will help your business grow and create those happy employees.
Even the most successful leader, manager, company owner and CEO can also benefit from expert coaching. A seasoned, versatile outsider who understand your business and its people. They can help give you valuable perspective and input you that you may be too close to see.
As it’s the season of gift-giving, I have the perfect item for you: my free downloadable e-book, ‘The Top 5 Advantages of Hiring A Business Coach.’ Set up an appointment with me to help focus on and define the guidance you need to be the best leader of the best people. Think of it as a gift for the future.
Here’s to a great new year of success – for all of us!
Tackling business including how to achieve goals, set priorities and improve skills is often helped by a great cup of coffee (or tea or juice). As a business/career coach, I sometimes treat clients and colleagues, as I advise them on many career and management issues. And one place I used to go was a local coffee-deli-restaurant-bakery I’ll call BCW (now closed and replaced by a new business). What happened to BCW – and could a business coach have helped? Keep reading to find out.
Though it was a social venue, it often was, like many cafes, a meeting place for business meetings. Its very location was a kind of ‘how to succeed’ geographically. BCW was located on a main street, near a busy intersection with a streetcar and bus stop. It was spacious, yet intimate, with a summer patio. Yet, sites like Reddit and Yelp had no shortage of opinions as to why it’s good riddance.
Amidst the raves for certain menu items, there were dozens of comments and complaints about the service, the food, the size of the place and dealing with difficult people including the owner. Maybe she was overwhelmed at work. Many ‘posters’ recommended the nearby Starbucks as the better place to go. As I read the complaints, I began to get a picture of what *might* have caused this angst. ‘What not to do’ morphed into ‘how to manage well, reduce stress at work, meet and exceed goals with great service’, and overall ‘how to succeed’ in a business.
New Perspective from a Business Coach
Good decisions, bad decisions – sometimes it helps to have an outside-inside professional, like a Career Management and Business Coach to help you manage the myriad of issues in your working day. I generally work with corporate executives, but doing business day-to-day involves people from all disciplines. There are some things big corporations can learn from small business and vice versa.
As for what you can do when you’re at the mercy of review sites, and people dumping on you just because they can? Not much, because the web is all about democracy. The owner of BCW is still seeing these reviews, even though her business has shut down.
When (and if) you should defend your reputation online is something I’ll address in another post. For now, try envisioning your business as a main-street café. Where everything you do/don’t do contributes towards success or failure of that business. Where the world has a front row on how you prep and implement throughout the day. Your workplace ambiance has to be pretty darn good for people. That it’s the kind of meeting-place that succeeds with customers and clients.
Would you like to talk about your business issues over coffee? Consider the initial meetings as the appetizer before the ‘entree’ into complete career and business coaching! Book an appointment today.
Developing your leadership skills has to do with many things – including Emotional Intelligence (E.I.). It’s no mystery. E.I. is a powerful tool and behaviour that will help you achieve business goals and improve your leadership skills.
Forbes Magazine calls E.I. ‘the ultimate soft skill’ in this article
As a business coach, I like to keep up with meaningful, relevant content. I also like to show clients how understanding and controlling your emotions can help you become an effective leader. In a high-pressure environment, leading and elevating involves managing people. This can sometimes involve emotions.
I like the Forbes piece. It confirms that companies seek out managers and leaders who have high levels of empathy and emotional control. Who are adept at building trust, motivated and able to inspire employee loyalty. Loyalty is essential for good productivity and results. Emotional intelligence inspires loyalty. This is one very important attribute that a good business coach can help you with. The ability to recognize, understand and control your emotions will help you manage your employees and enhance your leadership skills.
By relating better to other people’s feelings and behaviours, you can develop empathy and meet them where they are. That’s essential to great leadership, says the Forbes article. How do you actually measure the ROI on empathy, people skills and how we handle social relationships, as the EQ factor?
An article from workforce.com included the following:
“According to a research paper entitled EQ and the Bottom Line, ‘restaurants managed by managers with high emotional intelligence showed an annual profit growth of 22 percent versus an annual average growth of 15 percent for the same period.’
That’s not all. People with high EQ scores make $29,000 more on average each year than their counterparts with a lower EQ. One of the things that I like to do as a business coach is inspire clients with studies like these. They reflect potential, productivity and results. All the things a good business coach can help you with.