Rules for redundancies:

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2. Do it in the afternoon, thereby preventing redundant employees from moaning about their fate with remaining staff.

3. Make sure that managerial discussions about redundancies take place out of sight. Employees who see a managerial huddle will often guess its purpose, and a siege mentality can develop.

4. When delivering the bad news, be succinct. Do not let the meeting exceed 10 minutes. Remain unemotional throughout.

5. Do not deliver the news alone. Ensure that a member of HR is with you, both to answer questions on pensions and to prevent the exchange from becoming too tearful.

6. Emphasise that the company is divesting itself of the skillset, not the person.

7. Sit near the door in case the person becomes violent.

*From a Harvard Business Review newsletter by Steve Gosset.