Topic Employee Engagement,

5 Ways to Reconnect with Laid Off Employees

5 Ways to Reconnect with Laid Off Employees

As the country slowly starts to re-open with states beginning to lift their shelter-in-place orders and other similar restrictions, employers are finally regaining the freedom to hire back their employees. Unfortunately, this step may not be as easy as many hope it would be. 

So what is an employer to do in these situations? In this blog post, we will examine the different ways that an employer can reconnect with their workforce. Specifically, the methods that they can take in reaching out to their employees ranging from the least personal approaches to the most personal, and how to show you genuinely care when you cannot meet with them face to face. 


One of the most straightforward ways to reach out to anyone is through email. However, this method is often seen as a low effort, impersonal way that can ultimately hurt your approach by turning off your employees. The email technique should be reserved for employees who expect to be rehired and are waiting for a notice to come back to work. Or it can be used as a way to set up a more personal means of communication by alerting the employee that you would like to reserve a time and date for a video call. 

Phone Call

During this Corona outbreak, phone calls are consistently utilized as a way to connect with other people. Yet, even though they are slightly more personal than an email, they still exude low effort and may not come across as sincere as other methods. If you are planning on using a phone call to contact past employees, it is best used in situations where the employee separated on good terms and knows there is a good chance they will be rehired in the near future. 

Hand-Written Letter

Everyone tells you that a hand-written letter is a great way to make a message more personal and show that you are making an effort. And even though employees will appreciate this gesture, many employers do not take the time to give this method a try. Or worse, they decide to type out a letter, which ultimately comes across like an official notice or a "form letter" printed out for all the employees instead of the employer reaching out personally. 

Gift Baskets

Gift baskets are an excellent idea if you want to show how much you appreciate your employees. This approach can really emphasize that you, as the employer, are genuinely sorry for having to lay the employee off. However, one important thing to note is that unless the gift basket is personalized, there is the risk that former employees will think that everyone received the same presents, which makes them feel less energy was put into the process.

Personal Video Call

Personal video calls are a beneficial personal gesture when there is a need to show empathy since facial expressions are visible. They do require more effort as you will often need to use other forms of communication (email or phone call) to set up a video call up. However, it is a perfect method for the following reasons:

  • It gives the employee time to emotionally process the prospect that they are going to be rehired
  • The employee may not have been expecting to be laid off, or being laid off may have caused a lot of hardships, and seeing you in person can help with a lot of their emotions. 

It Comes Down to Showing Compassion, Support, and Expressing Gratitude

Losing a job, for whatever reason, is never easy. However, when a global pandemic is responsible for these massive layoffs, the uncertainty of the situation can make it so much harder and stressful for everyone involved. One of the greatest things we can do as employers is to understand the importance of empathy and compassion when dealing with employees who have been laid off. 

If you are looking for ways to reach out to past employees, you can choose from plenty of methods. Yet, during these times, it is hard to tell how being laid off affects an employee, and connecting with the wrong approach can ultimately make things worse. That is why one of the safest methods is to arrange a personal video call where you can truly show your support for them. However, if you are still looking for something more, you can always combine steps such as having a video call and sending a gift basket to take your message up a notch.

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