Saturday, November 20, 2021

Career Focus Series Q&A with Anita Jenke, Part II - Episode 3099

Career Focus Series Q&A with Anita Jenke, Part II

Howard 00:00

Hello, this is Howard Fox host of the Career Focus Series on the Success InSight Podcast. I want to welcome you to Career Focus Q & A. Our guest today is Anita Jenke, Executive Director of the Career Transition Center of Chicago. Anita joined us this year on the Career Focus series for episode 87, which was published on October 25, 2021.

We received emails from individuals who listened to the episode and they had questions for Anita, who has been gracious to come back on the show and share her answers and insights with our listeners. Anita, welcome.

Anita 00:42

Glad to be back. Thanks for having me.

Howard 00:45

Anita question, number two, what can companies do to prepare their staff before the layoff?  

Anita 00:55

I think the first and most important thing is to be transparent. In many cases, companies do have the time and know that their financial situation is getting tight. And I think it's important to communicate with employees throughout the process. That things are a little tough. I know that employees understand during the pandemic how rough it was.

So it's not like it would be a shock, but I think, you know, out of your integrity, communicate with them and let them know and make it clear to them. You know, this is not about performance. an economic situation where we have no choice and make clear to them that this is a last resort, that you've looked at options like, you know, management, taking a reduction in pay, maybe reducing people to part-time and keeping the benefits going.

Just let them know that you care. I think that's one of the things you can do. In preparation. I also think out of respect for the employee, be prepared and do your due diligence. Make sure that when you meet with them, you’ve figured out the outplacement piece. And I think that's mandatory. I think employers need to and must do that.

There are a lot of options out there. There are. Non-profits like us, there are independent coaches. That'll do outplacement. There are the big companies. I think it's really important that you have that make sure you have the Cobra paperwork, the layoff letter, everything that they need to be packaged up in a folder so that it's turnkey and they don't feel like they have to keep coming back to you to get things in drips and drabs.

And then I think the next two things are really important, when you conduct the layoff session, sit down with the employee. And if it is handled professionally, and with compassion, it'll probably reduce the anger and the resentment. And there are things you can do to prepare, read articles, you know, think about the times you've been laid off so that you can come at this in a place where you can be of support and help to them with good boundaries.

And. I think it's super important to be prepared to talk afterward about the layoff to the rest of your workforce because it's, they're going to be, they're going to be rumors. there's going to be anxiety, people wondering who's next. And I think, again, transparency, we had to do something very difficult as you know, because of our financial position, but we're committed to going forward with our current workforce. 

We believe we can hold the line here. We have ensured that all. People laid off, got outplacement, and they've got what they need to move to the next step. And, you know, we encourage you to be of good support to them. 

I think those are the kinds of, sort of things you can do, those sort of four biggies that I think could really make a difference in how people respond to a layoff?

Howard 03:46

Anita, thank you for your answer and for joining us for career focus, Q & A

Anita 03:51

My pleasure.

Howard 03:53

Folks, you can learn more about Anita and the Career Transition Center of Chicago by visiting their website at We'd also love for you to add your likes and comments to this short post, and also to share it with your friends, family, and colleagues as well.

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Take care now.

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