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The HR Famous Podcast: E8 - Video Work Meetings: Winning On ZOOM

Furloughs/Layoffs During COVID-19: Best Delivered Via Video or an Analog Call?

I've got a post up at Fistful of Talent this morning called How S**T Got Sideways as Companies Furloughed/Laid Off People in the COVID-19 Meltdown.

The gist of that post is as follows - a LOT of companies over the last two weeks have communicated bad news (personal news of impact due to furlough/layoff) to groups of Up in the air2employees at the same time, which is about as far from a best practice as you can get.

But it begs another question. During this COVID-19 period where everyone is home, my first instinct when doing it the right way would be to use the tools companies are already using - Zoom, Skype, etc - and do a personal video call with any employee impacted by furlough or layoff.

As HR leaders and pros, we're conditioned to deliver the news in person. Facing the music and not avoiding the discomfort of the situation, we've been conditioned to believe that this news is best delivered face to face.

I still believe that, but here's a twist. Since working from home is new to many, and since circumstances are so unusual (kids at home because school isn't running, spouses at home from their work), is it possible that the best way to deliver layoff news in a 1/1 setting isn't a video call, but a normal analog audio call?

Based on my training, it's hard not to want the face to face interaction. But we're in unusual times, and many of the folks you might have to talk to via video call in a COVID-19 furlough/layoff situation aren't used to communicating via video - there is and will continue to be a form of discomfort with the medium, especially for unusual news and circumstances.

In that situation, is it better to deliver the 1/1 news via a normal phone call than a Zoom/Skype video call?  A call might be the best way to go.

The right answer is it depends - you have to know your team, the company, the culture - and make the best choice for you.

Hang in their HR, TA and manager of people peeps. Things are going to get better. Ping me if I can help you.

 

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