In the midst of some particularly tough times for many of our clients this has been a frequent challenge for leaders. Perhaps you’re having to make some tough decisions to stay in business and even reduce your staff numbers?

Here are some things I’m hearing from my clients –

1 – You always need think about the business first and do what’s best for the business, you can’t always do what’s best for the individuals in the team.

2 – You need a process for having tough conversations and you need to make sure you land your message. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be empathetic and human when delivering it. People who leave your business will remember how you made them feel at the end, and they will tell others about it.

3 – Don’t forget about the people you decide to keep. Sometimes it’s like a survivor’s guilt, but most of the time this is when your top performers may get cold feet and start to look around, don’t forget to focus on the people who are staying.

4 – I’m constantly surprised how many organisations fail to consider the mental and physical impact these decisions can have on the leaders, some companies even celebrating how “tough” their people are for swinging the axe so effectively. It’s not something to be celebrated, after all it’s often those in charge who have over-recruited, mis-recruited or pursued the wrong strategy. So you need to make sure you get support as a leader, make sure you have a safe space and an objective sounding board to guide you through these tough times.

5 – Sadly I’ve had to say goodbye to a number of people for a variety of different reasons during my career. I promise you it never gets any easier and I remember every one of the them. That’s part of being an empathetic and authentic leader.

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