If you're in a leadership position and haven't read the Good Boss, Bad Boss book by Robert Sutton, I would recommend it. Here's a little excerpt from the book on how to implement tough decisions in effective and humane ways;
1) Do not delay painful decisions and actions; hoping the problem will go away or that someone else will do your dirty work rarely is an effective path.
2) Assume that you are clueless, or at least have only a dim understanding, of how people judge you and the dirty work that you do.
3) Implement tough decisions as well as you can - even if they strike you as wrong or misguided. Or get out of the way and let someone else do it.
4) Do everything possible to communicate to all who will be affected how distressing events will unfold, so they can predict when bad thins will (and will not) happen to them.
5) Explain early and often why the dirty work is necessary.
6) Look for ways to give employees influence over how painful changes happen to them, even when it is impossible to change what will happen to them.
7) Never humiliate, belittle, or bad-mouth people who are the targets of your dirty work.
8) Ask yourself and fellow bosses to seriously consider if the dirty work is really necessary before implementing it. Just because all your competitors do it, or you have always done it in the past, does not mean it is wise right now.
9) Do not mislead or lie to employees, as doing so can destroy their loyalty and confidence, along with your reputation.
10) Keep you big mouth shut. Divulging sensitive or confidential information can harm employees, your organization, and you, too.
11) Refrain from doing mean-spirited things to exact personal revenge against employees who resist or object to your dirty work.
12) Do not attempt dirty work if you lack the power to do it right, no matter how necessary it may seem.