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Ep 20: How to Lead During Layoffs

Managing Well Podcast - Ep 20: How to Lead During Layoffs

Breakups are hard. Ending relationships at work is no different.

In the latest episode of the Managing Well podcast, Tonya talks about the human side of leading during layoffs. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Layoffs will never be absent of pain though they can be more painful than they need to be. Leading and people management requires ongoing self-reflection and action. Before talking to your team or the people impacted by layoffs, first, acknowledge your own reactions and emotions. Journal and/or speak with friends, mentors, or peers, not direct reports, to express your feelings.
  • The human component of ending a relationship needs to be honored. We spend a lot of time with the people we work with. So it can be sad, disappointing, angering, and hurtful when people leave, especially when it’s unexpected.
  • Leading a team through layoffs and during the aftermath requires as much transparency and honest communication as possible. Be upfront with the information you can share rather than wait for questions and rumors to take over.
  • As leaders and managers, we unintentionally become more callous in our communication and interactions when we don’t give ourselves permission to feel and process the full impact of company layoffs.

After the episode, download our worksheet for tips on how to be a better people manager and leader in your organization. Also, if you have management-related questions (that you’re too scared to ask HR), email us at, so we can discuss them on the show.

In the Managing Well podcast, host Tonya Ladipo talks about wellness in the workplace with people leaders, mental health professionals, HR experts, and more. Click the link to subscribe to the podcast and get the latest episodes.