Ethical offboarding is not an oxymoron. It’s not only the right thing to do: It’s a business imperative.

JFF VP Cat Ward in “There’s an Ethical Way to Handle Layoffs”

Published mar. 22, 2023

In a recent Work Shift op-ed, Jobs for the Future Vice President Cat Ward urged employers to prepare for disruptions that could require layoffs by embracing “ethical offboarding.” While it may sound like an oxymoron, ethical offboarding is actually a common-sense approach to downsizing that puts laid-off employees in a position to move forward in their careers and ensures that businesses can weather the transition and continue to prosper.

Citing the tenets outlined in the recently updated JFF report “A Better Approach to Layoffs,” Ward wrote that ethical offboarding is an approach to talent management that involves building a corporate culture that emphasizes learning and development, addressing the emotional costs of layoffs, and helping displaced workers land on their feet.

“Ethical offboarding is not an oxymoron,” she wrote. “It’s not only the right thing to do: It’s a business imperative.”