University of California, Berkeley

Communicating with Staff After Layoffs

It is your responsibility to respond to the feelings of the remaining staff and to communicate a positive image for the future. Here are some important topics to discuss; a series of meetings is a good way to ensure an ongoing safe place for communications.

  • Acknowledge that it is normal to feel anxious during these uncertain times.
  • Announce the personnel changes that have occurred.
  • If appropriate, explain the department reorganization and redefine roles.
  • Discuss any impact on workload/work flow.
  • Ask for suggestions for improving department effectiveness.
  • Assure staff members that no other positions will be affected at this time (if this is true) and that all employees are valued.
  • Mention that CARE Services are available for any employees having difficulty dealing with the changes.
  • Maintain an open door policy so employees can come to you for guidance and support.
  • Recognize that employees differ on how quickly they can adapt to change.
  • Express optimism for the future.
  • End on a positive note; stress that staff are valued and important.