Performing Layoffs in a
Humanistic Manner
UCSF May 2010
A Guide for Conducting the Employee
Layoff Notice Meeting
Objectives
At the end of this course, you will be
able to:
• Deliver layoff news in a humanistic way
• Be able to answer questions and direct
employees to the appropriate resources
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Agenda
• The Process (What to do)
– Reasons for Layoff /Selection for Layoff
– Notice Rights
– Recall / Preferential Rehire Rights
– Severance
– Outplacement Services (PSS only)
– Managers and Senior Professionals
• The Humanistic Approach (How to do it)
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Process – Reasons for Layoff
(PSS and Represented)
• Employees may be laid off due to:
– Lack of funding
– Lack of work
– Reorganization
4
Process – Selection for Layoff
(PSS and Represented)
• Layoffs are affected in inverse order of seniority
within a classification and layoff unit.
• The University may retain an employee
irrespective of seniority if the employee
possesses special skills, knowledge, or abilities
(SSKAs”) that are not possessed by other
employees in the same classification and which
are necessary to perform the ongoing functions
of the department.
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Process – Notice Rights
(PSS and Represented)
• Employees are entitled to 30 to 60 days notice
of layoff depending on the applicable policy or
contract.
• The University may provide pay in lieu of some
or all of the notice period.
6
Process – Recall Rights
(PSS and Represented)
• Recall : The right of an employee to return to
University service to an active, vacant career
position in the same classification and
department at the same or lesser percentage of
time as the position from which the employee
was laid off.
• Employees have the right to recall for a
specified period of time from the date of layoff
(e.g., 3 years for PSS, CX and SX employees).
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Process – Preferential Rehire Rights
(PSS and Represented)
• Preferential Rehire: The right of en employee to
be granted first consideration for active vacant
career positions at UCSF provided that:
– The position is in the same bargaining unit as the
position from which the employee was laid off
– The position is in a class with the same or lower
salary range maximum as the class from which the
employee was laid off
– The position is at the same or lesser percentage of
time as the position from which the employee was
laid off
– The employee is qualified for the position
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Process – Preferential Rehire Rights
-- continued
(PSS and Represented)
• An employee may exercise his or her rights to
preferential rehire immediately after s/he
receives written notification of layoff.
• To active these rights, employees must contact
the Preferential Rehire Coordinator (476-2689)
and submit a current resume
• Employees have preferential rehire rights for a
specified period of time from the date of layoff.
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Process -- Severance
(PSS and Represented)
• Under policy and most contracts, employees
may elect to receive severance in lieu of
recall/preferential rehire rights.
• Employees are eligible to receive one week of
salary for each full year of service from the most
recent break in service up to a maximum of 16
weeks.
• UPTE contracts allow employees with more than
5 years of University service to elect severance
or reduced severance and recall / preferential
rehire rights
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Process -- Outplacement Transition
Services
(PSS only)
• Vendor provides services to employees,
including:
– Individual consulting and training
– Career planning
– Resume preparation
– Marketing plan development
– Training in job search methods
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Process – Managers and Senior
Professionals (MSP)
• MSP employees “may be terminated when, in
management’s judgment, the needs or
resources of a department … do not justify the
continuation of an employee’s appointment.”
• Policy makes no distinction between the
termination or layoff of a MSP employee.
• MSP employees who are terminated for reasons
other than performance or conduct are entitled
to a 60-day notice of termination.
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Process – Managers and Senior
Professionals (MSP) -- continued
• MSP employees may respond to a notice of
intent to terminate their appointment
• MSP employees who are terminated for reasons
other than performance or conduct may receive
severance conditioned on the signing of a
separation agreement and general release.
– Employees are eligible to receive one month of
salary for each full year of service from the most
recent break in service up to a maximum of 6
months.
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The Humanistic Approach
• The Humanistic Approach fosters dignity and
respect for all involved.
• Let’s talk about how to convey the message in a
humanistic way.
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The Humanistic Approach –
Objectives
After this part of the training, you will:
• Understand how the manner in which the layoff
message is conveyed can help mitigate the
negative impact on the employee
• Know the key positive emotions to use when
conducting a layoff -- those that are
“humanistic”
• Understand strategies to guide supervisors
through delivering the “bad news”
• Have a script to help you through the
conversation
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Humanism
Concept: concern for other human beings;
mindful of the needs, well-being, and
interests of people
• Humanism is demonstrated by using
positive emotions (empathy, compassion)
when delivering bad news such as layoffs.
• Humanism is further demonstrated by an
emotionally intelligent approach.
• Humanism fosters dignity and respect for all
involved.
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Humanism – Examples of Empathy
and Compassion
• Ability to accurately reflect back to others
the feelings they are experiencing
• Recognizing, acknowledging, and validating
their distress; being supportive
• Staying calm and centered in the presence
of the individual’s distress, so that you can
“be there”
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Humanism – Emotional Intelligence
(EI)
• Awareness of the impact our attitudes and
behaviors have on others
• Capacity for recognizing our own feelings
and those of others
Use your Emotional Intelligence when dealing
with those you must lay off.
Remaining employees will know how you
treated laid off employees. Your behavior &
attitude will contribute or detract from future
trust levels within your work group.
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Humanism – Emotional Reactions
to Layoffs
• Expect a range of emotions from employees
as they are informed of layoff; this is both
normal and understandable.
• Emotions are not experienced linearly; they
often overlap.
• Allow for the appropriate expression of
emotions by the employee.
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Humanism – Common Reactions
• Anxiety
• Resignation
• Anger
• Resentfulness
• Sadness
• Low morale
• Attempt to negotiate
• Decreased
productivity
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Humanism – Preparing to deliver the
news
• It is OK if people cry; do not ask them to get
control of themselves before continuing.
Acknowledge the distress, but proceed with
the news.
• Acknowledge that part of your job is to
deliver this news. This can diminish the
feeling of a personal attack.
• Control your own emotions.
• Do not get defensive.
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Humanism – Preparing to deliver the
news -- continued
• Pick a place where the meeting will be
private and uninterrupted.
• Contact HR to have the appropriate HR
representative at the meeting.
• Consult with the HR person ahead of time to
prepare.
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Humanism – Tips for the meeting
• Use positive emotions
• State that you understand that this must be
very difficult; do not minimize the situation.
Use your emotional intelligence.
• Allow time for the employee to say how they
feel. “Be there for them.”
• Be grateful that you can make this transition
process easier.
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Humanism – Tips for the meeting -continued
• Remember to be empathic and
compassionate.
• Stay away from discussions that could
confuse the primary message (i.e., This is
not about performance or personal issues.)
• Listen; document any potential problems
• Allow time for the employee to say how they
feel.
• Keep your eyes on the same level as the
employee’s and maintain a calm presence.
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Welcome
Humanism -- Reactions
• If an individual expresses thoughts of
harming self or others, or becomes
intimidating or potentially threatening,
contact UCPD at
– 9-911 or
– 476-1414 from a cell phone
• Do not attempt to physically intervene.
• Contact FSAP to consult regarding any
individual in distress.
• Encourage anyone who has emotional difficulty
with this transition to make an appointment with
FSAP for counseling (476-8279).
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Welcome
Humanism – Practice
• Partner with somebody
• Supervisor study script and tips
• Employee read role
• Practice
• Switch roles
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Welcome
Questions?
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Training for Layoffs - UCSF Human Resources