Seasoned HR and workplace communication expert Carrie Skowronski shared with Insider what to say (or not say) to someone who’s been laid off or fired.

Carrie Skowronski is a workplace communication expert who says there’s a right way to reach out to a laid off colleague.
She says peppering them with questions about their next steps will only stress them further.
To show your support, reach out, follow up via email or text, and tap into a shared experience if you have one.

Your company has joined many others in conducting layoffs, and while your job is safe, you’ve had to watch your close colleagues fall from the ranks. Now you’re racking your brain for ways to show up for them in their time of need.

While you may be wrestling over the “right” thing to say to someone who’s recently unemployed, what matters most is supporting them with empathy and sensitivity in this sudden career transition. 

Seasoned HR and workplace communication expert Carrie Skowronski shared with Insider what to say and do — and what not to say and do — to someone who’s been laid off or fired, and the email or text template for best expressing your condolences. 

1. Don’t be overly positive or ask, ‘What’s next?’

While they may stem from good intentions, doses of too much positivity — comments like “Look on the bright side!” — almost never have the desired impact and will seem tone-deaf to someone who’s unsure of their next move.

It’s also important to avoid pressuring them to reveal how they’re feeling or their plan for the future. Your immediate instinct may be to ask, “What are you going to do?” “Are you going to be OK?” or “What’s next for you?” It’s very likely that your colleague is already mulling over these questions, and projecting from your own place of worry could stress them out even more. 

“Don’t put them on the spot to now have to comfort you in their time of need. Instead, leave unhelpful questions at the door (or in your drafts),” Skowronski said. 

2. Don’t assume you know how they feel 

It’s incredibly difficult to predict how people will react to the shock of job loss. While losing a job can be scary and stressful, some people might feel a sense of relief to be let go from a role at a company that was no longer a positive …read more

Source:: Business Insider


6 ways to support a colleague after a layoff and exactly what you should say if you want to reach out

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