If there is any one word heard in the workplace that is guaranteed to send a chill down the spine of an employee, it is layoff. In recent years, both the public and private sectors have used layoffs extensively to meet the demands of tight budgets and a changing business climate.
Rhonda Bell works in Enterprise Services’ Statewide Recruiting Office, but her key focus in the past five years has been providing those facing a layoff with tools to help them through the transition.
The centerpiece of her efforts is a layoff workshop. This is a multi-agency collaboration that helps employees understand the layoff process. It also connects them with programs that can help them search for jobs, get benefits for which they qualify, and cope with a stressful situation.
“Since 2008, we’ve provided 140 workshops for about 2,500 attendees,” said Bell.
That’s an average of about 18 attendees at each workshop. But, according to Bell, the rate of attendance can vary greatly.
“We’ve had workshops where the room was near bursting, and we’ve had sessions with only a couple of attendees. And, there’s always a number of people who do not have the time or means to get to a scheduled workshop,” she pointed out.
In March, Bell teamed up with coworker Terry Springer from the Enterprises Services Training Office, to make the workshop’s content available online. Together, Bell and Springer produced a video walk-through of the workshop’s presentation slides with voice commentary by Bell. The video provides 24/7 access to a program that has helped many with a difficult transition.
“Persons using the online workshop can view it from end to end, or pick and choose among the subject areas offered,” said Bell. “Contact information for all participating programs is included.”
Whether you’re a state employee facing a layoff, or you’re simply contemplating a separation from state service, you’ll find the tool very helpful. Check out the workshop web page and check out the video.