How to Manage Coronavirus Layoffs with Compassion

“Principles to Remember


  • Think carefully about whether layoffs are necessary and reflect on ways your organization can save as many jobs as possible.
  • Show compassion for your employee and stress that the layoff is not their fault.
  • Seek out a peer or a colleague outside your organization to whom you can vent and ask for help in coping with your own uncertainty.


  • Overcommit. Provide support and counsel to the people you’ve laid off, but don’t promise things you can’t deliver.
  • Make this about you. Avoid saying things like, “This is really hard for me.”
  • Neglect your wellbeing. Make a concerted effort to eat well and get enough sleep, and take time for self-care, including exercise and meditation.”