Managers and human resources have a difficult job, and it is never more difficult than during a time of reduction in force (RIF). It’s easy to think that your worst day is when you lose your job, but perhaps the worst day is when you have to tell your employees they don’t have a job anymore. The pain of undergoing a RIF can be overwhelming emotionally. What will these people do? Where can they find work? How are they going to accomplish it? 

We understand that nobody likes a RIF. This is a difficult and painful time as an employer, and while the company undergoes changes, it is the managers and the human resources officers that are left in the awkward position of assisting outgoing employees as they transition out. It is our goal to help provide strategies for you as you work through this difficult time.


Know You Have Options.

Providing your employees with options is a crucial stage in the downsizing plan. Here are some tools that you can offer your employees that can help to minimize the negative emotions during this difficult time.

  1. Outplacement Resources – As a free benefit to our clients, ENSEARCH Management Consultants offers an easy to use resource for employees looking for new positions.
  2. Training Webinars – Finding a job in these times can be difficult, and learning what options are available is the first step in applying for employment. A simple video training tool to understand remote and flexible jobs is a great example of ways people can learn about varying employment options.
  3. Resume reviews – The rules have changed in the past years. No more does one resume fit all job descriptions. Forbes magazine highlights 20 basic rules of resume writing, and some of them have really changed. For example: send the resume as a PDF attachment instead of a Microsoft word link. By doing it this way, formatting requirements are not lost. And references? Don’t waste the space; simply put that they are available upon request.
  4. Interviewing assistance – This is not just a 45-minute face-to-face meeting. It’s actually a detailed 5 step plan that future employees must be in control of from start to finish. Here are the five steps they need to know about:
    • Research – They need to know what the comparative salary options are and what type of company you would like to work for in the future. 
    • Interview – They need to be ready to answer the hard questions, such as the Top 10 Interview Questions for 2019.
    • Follow-Up – It can be difficult to know what to do after an interview. When in doubt, remember, a simple thank you note is better than stalking.
    • The Offer – This is more than just a salary, it is a complete package of benefits, hourly wage, in-hospital work versus virtual work time, on-call requirements, vacation time, insurance needs, continuing education, and retirement benefits. Everyone should know what they’re really getting.
    • Finalize the Process – Sign the contracts and get ready to begin training for the new position. 


Remember, Stress is a Workable Problem Too.

As you are working with an employee’s transition out of the hospital, it is a very stressful time for everyone involved. It is good to remember that increasing stress, just like all problems, needs to be dealt with proactively and carefully. 

One often forgotten resource is employee assistance programs (EAP). Many organizations offer a few free counseling sessions that licensed counselors can help people work through feelings of anger, fear, and hurt.


Readjust and Begin a New Normal.

After a RIF, those who are still working with you will attempt to go back to work. Remember, that their normal is now gone. It’s not business as usual anymore, because so much has changed. It is important for leaders to be visible and active in supporting the remaining employees. This is a great time to rebuild and make positive changes that will increase communication, clarity, and improvements in the workplace.


A reduction in staff is a painful time, but as a hospital employer, you don’t need to worry that your employees are going to be without options. We’d love to talk with you more about the valuable resources that we offer to our clients.


What resources did you use when going through a RIF? Please share them in the comments section below.


Free Needs Analysis Ad