In this article, we share resources that HR or direct managers can share with laid off staff to help them get organized and stay focused on the task of finding new employment.
My LinkedIn is flooded these days with messages from old colleagues and friends announcing that they have been laid off and are looking for a new role in hospitality. I know yours is the same. One thing I have noticed is how many posts share heartfelt gratitude for their last employer. There is no doubt that how employers handle furloughs or layoffs in this day and age is remembered long after the sting of losing a job goes away. And, we know from our most recent survey that team member resources for laid off or furloughed associates is something you’re looking for. So, with that… our best practices:
If you are in the US and your laid off employees had healthcare benefits, let them know whether they qualify for Cobra. It’s typically the easiest option but might not be the cheapest. If they qualify, Cobra will reach out to them directly, via mail, to provide information about costs and coverage. Let employees know that they get 60 days to decide whether they want to sign up.
Unemployment benefits vary from country to country and state to state. Do some research on your state’s policies and provide that to your employees. While navigating government programs is never simple, the good news is that the $2 trillion stimulus package passed in March “provides for an additional $600 per week on top of any state-provided unemployment benefits through July 31. The law also extends unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks on top of what your state, with a maximum of 39 weeks, and makes unemployment available for self-employed and gig workers.”
skill development resources:
Share resources that can help laid off employees learn new skills. Udemy recently launched a whole library of free courses, and many look great for hoteliers looking to add new skills to their resume. Take some time to review the list and share a digital copy or printout with the ones you think would help them grow personally and professionally.
Let your employees know that you are willing to be a professional reference or help open doors if you’re able to. Depending on the number of employees affected, you might not have the bandwidth to help everyone, but taking the time to help laid off workers land their next role should be a priority over the next couple of weeks, especially if you have fewer guests to take care of. Hospitality roles might be few and far between but lots of businesses are still hiring.
Finally, ensure your employees know that even though their employment is being terminated or put on hold, you want to continue to provide support when they need it. Tell them you’re going to check in with them in a week or so, and make sure you do. A text, call or email will go a long way towards building their confidence and letting them know that they were more than just another employee to you.
Being laid off is emotional, scary and confusing. It’s hard to know where to turn or what to do first. Providing your furloughed or laid off staff with a checklist and resource list can go a long way towards easing their stress during a terrible time.
Coming up next, we will shift gears and weigh in on what hotels can share on social media now, while promotions aren’t the focus (another topic you asked us about in our survey). Keep an eye out!
In case you missed the previous posts in this series, here they are:
Navigating the COVID-19 crisis: Five challenges hoteliers must overcome
Making the transition from putting out fires to planning ahead
Covid-19 Series, Part 3: Tips for Staying in Touch with Furloughed or Laid Off Staff