Those who have been laid off or downsized and have the letter A in box 16 of their Record Of employment are legally required by the Employment Insurance Act, a federal statute of Canada to sit in a crowded room and listen to fast talk and hard closes.
This is the unfortunate or fortunate situation I found myself in on May 2 2017. Here is what I noticed though, the speaker who was a long term civil servant who has done this at least 1,000,000 time during her tenure with the Federal Government of Canada ran through the regular rigmarole of “do this” of we will cut you off benefits lost her audience in the first 30 seconds. As I looked around most were gazing at phones or out the window. The body language shouted “who cares!”
This was a room of 50-75 people undergoing change. I did not know their stories and I am sure there were some doozys to be told. They were at a loss and were grieving. I sat there wondering why she did not have a better ice breaker or opener. At least offer some audience participation or even an “I am sorry for your loss.” Simple empathy, basic at that. I am sorry for your loss.
Why do we run from loss and grief? Why do we say, not my job, get over it, why do we invalidate?
My idea is this before or in conjunction with “get back to work” tasks why not explore and get curious about their change journey and the emotions that accompany it, namely grief? Might that not help down the road to create and provide for a robust attitude and emotional poise/posture when meeting with potential companies? That sounds very business like and case study to support the numbers however let’s try some basic very fundamental humanity. Why explore the change story and their grief? It is humane and respectful!
Today’s takeaway, when a change and loss occur be humane simply put be humane or act humanely.