Write It Well Teaches Managers to Deliver Effective Layoff Interviews

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Write It Well, a training and publishing company that improves business communications skills, has an online training solution for managers who are tasked with the difficult job of laying people off. The Los Angeles Times reported last week that nearly a quarter-of-a- million layoffs were announced in January. In these economic times, layoffs are a sad reality. They are difficult for everyone involved - certainly for those losing their jobs, but also for the managers delivering the bad news and the staff left behind.

Write It Well, a training and publishing company that improves business communications skills, has an online training solution (http://www.writeitwell.com/onlinelearning) for managers who are tasked with the difficult job of laying people off. The Los Angeles Times reported last week that nearly a quarter-of-a- million layoffs were announced in January. In these economic times, layoffs are a sad reality. They are difficult for everyone involved - certainly for those losing their jobs, but also for the managers delivering the bad news and the staff left behind.

In last week's article, "Layoffs Herald a Heyday for Employee Lawsuits," http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/31/business/economy/31employ.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=layoffs&st=cse The New York Times reported that the number of lawsuits filed by laid-off workers is rising steadily. Layoff interviews conducted well can reduce the risks of legal action and slipping employee morale. Write It Well's customizable application gives managers the tools and confidence they need to conduct layoff interviews effectively.

When Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang got to work writing an e-mail http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/10/jerry-yang-s-layoff-memo about layoffs, he made some serious blunders. This is a topic that affects people at a visceral level and warrants a professional e-mail with correct grammar and punctuation. Yang's confusing, rambling, error-filled message delivered the opposite impression. Ironically, Yahoo!'s own written guidelines for layoffs are right on the mark: get right to the point, don't own the employee's feelings, and be clear, concise, and respectful.

Nobody likes to write difficult e-mails or deliver bad news, but when they learn how to do it right, managers can deliver bad news respectfully and effectively.

Drawing on more than twenty-five years of experience helping people communicate clearly and professionally, Write It Well has developed a training solution that teaches managers why layoff interviews are so challenging to deliver and how to avoid some of the most common pitfalls. By watching excerpts from layoff interviews, they get to see the dos and don'ts in action. Following these excerpts, the solution's facilitator offers a brief analysis of why each interview was successful or not, emphasizing the risks inherent in poorly chosen words, poor delivery and lack off preparation.

Interviews are unsuccessful when managers are not prepared (e.g., working without a script, failing to prepare documents about severance or COBRA), deliver the news poorly (e.g., with too much emotional content in the interview) and a fail to document the interview immediately afterward. By completing the exercises in the training program, managers will learn the three steps necessary for success: 1. Prepare, 2. Deliver, and 3. Document.

About Write It Well
Write It Well is a training and consulting firm that helps people in the workplace communicate clearly and work together effectively. Write It Well offers step-by-step techniques to improve business communication through onsite and online training courses, e-learning solutions, blended solutions, and business writing books with companion facilitator guides. Our books include Professional Writing Skills, How to Write Reports and Proposals, Grammar for Grownups, and E-Mail: A Write It Well Guide. For more information about Write It Well, visit our website, http://www.writeitwell.com.

Our e-learning solution, How to Conduct a Layoff Interview, http://www.writeitwell.com/onlinelearning can be customized for any organization and stored inside the company's firewall. In most cases, delivery only takes three weeks from the date of order.

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Natasha Terk
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