Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, furloughs and layoffs have been a concern for nurses and healthcare executives alike. Tipton Health Communication’s May 19 Nursing Leadership Webinar featured Nikki Sumpter, senior vice president and chief human resources officer of Atlantic Health System, an experienced HR executive.

In the second of our three-part blog series focused on furloughs and layoffs, Nikki weighs in on how to be transparent with your staff and keep them engaged and invested in your organization.

  • Provide Open and Honest Communication: When explaining furloughs and layoffs, it’s important to make sure your employees understand the reason behind them. Share the financials in a way that connects with your staff through a thoughtful process, drawing a clear line of why executives are faced with such a tough decision. Exhaust your whys and cascade these messages down from the organization, to the department level and to all team members.
  • Engage with HR: Your Human Resources (HR) department should be able to partner with you to help share any important information clearly through message maps, leadership talking points, pre-planning communication, and creating visual cues to eliminate confusion and engage team members. Also, ask if they can reach out to organizations in the community who may be willing to donate and help support staff. Your community is invested in you and your workers now more than ever.
  • Take Your Team on the Journey With You: It is well understood that right now we will not see a return to the pre-COVID environment and we will experience the “new normal” of healthcare. It’s time to reposition how your nurses define their roles. They are no longer an endoscopic nurse or a critical care nurse. They are nurses who are able to tackle many different tasks and specialties within your organization. You can partner with HR to help you communicate this new perspective and keep your nurses invested and engaged.

Learn More From Our Executive Consultants

You can learn more strategies presented in the webinar, Managing Nurse Expectations and Engagement During Layoffs or Furloughs, by visiting

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