Dirty divorce or good friends for life? Parting with employees with separation management

from: Stephan B. Breitfeld

I’m sure you’ve had to let a lot of people go in your career. And you probably don’t associate all the best feelings with these experiences. Maybe you even kept an employee here and there just because you wanted to avoid the conflict. But there is a lot of potential in making these processes more amicable or even – yes, in a way – positive. It starts with seeing an employee not only as a wheel in the system but as the most valuable asset that stands behind every successful company, a brand ambassador of significant potential. However, retrenchments, layoffs, early retirement as well as numerous other occasions, like sudden lockdowns induced by a global pandemic, may force you to let employees go, giving the central stage to a lengthy and not always pleasant process of separation.

How do you handle divorce? 

Separation can trigger negative and irreversible consequences. I actually like to put this professional process into personal terms. What emotions does separation trigger in your employee? This process, more than anything, needs attention. With that in mind, separation demands thought-through management, if avoiding it altogether does not seem to be an option.


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