If you were to ask managers around the world what part of their jobs they disliked the most, there’s a good chance you’d find laying off employees at the top of the list.
Unfortunately, the reality is that even among the best companies, layoffs cannot be avoided in extraordinary times.
This is what Hon. Milly Babalanda is encountering these days after making changes in the list of RDCs/RCCs in the country, which is her constitution mandate to improve service delivery.
This change in RDC has put her name in the spotlight and accusing her of corruption with no facts put on table. When you are in a leadership role, you even face more formidable challenges, of which am sure she is prepared to encounter.
The task for the Minister of Presidency that was entrusted to Hon. Milly by H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is not an easy task per say because it involves raising the emotions of some people who get disappointed when they are not appointed, or even those that get laid off.
It is natural that these affected persons have tears and feelings. However, this leads them to tarnish other people’s reputations they have built over decades as a way of fighting back.
What matters now is how the ministry for Presidency will come up with better policies to reduce the negative impact of such people who fight back when they lose their jobs.
Being laid off can be an overwhelming and stressful experience of loss and change and, therefore the Ministry for Presidency should promote a culture of listening. Because layoffs are usually sudden and unexpected,the managers at office should be well equipped to have tough conversations with affected persons.
Long-term employees might need assurance that the layoffs weren’t due to poor performance.
Managers should be provided with resources to call experts in grief and resiliency to take through these affected persons. Also incorporating some in government poverty alleviation programs like Emyooga and Parish development model can help sometimes for them to have hope and reduce their negative reactions.
How employers handle lay offs tells a lasting story of an organization,and this is highly manifested in the way people fail to balance their emotions after loss of a job.
By trying to implement my aforementioned approaches, there will not be fighting back which involves tainting people’s reputation that they are corrupt,yet in actual sense is just blackmail.
Ben Ssebuguzi is an entrepreneur and Secretary-General of Uganda poor youth movement.