Once the Layoffs Are Done, It’s Time to Focus on the Survivors

Much time and effort are devoted to preparing for a layoff:  announcements, notifications, group meetings, severance packages, outplacement assistance, etc.

When properly managed, the layoff process ensures that “downsized” employees have sufficient information, assistance and attention to lessen the sting of their job loss.

But what about the remaining staff members?  What about their needs and concerns?

In the aftermath of a layoff period, many managers fail to recognize that their remaining employees aren’t ready to jump right back into “business as usual.”

These employees are the survivors, with all the fears and concerns they had before they learned that they were spared in the cuts.  Plus, they have a whole new list of worries:  “Who is going to do all this work now?”  “How will my job change?”  “Will my job be the next one to be cut?”

Smart managers will recognize that the layoff period is every bit as traumatic for survivors as for the departing employees.  Instead of minimizing those concerns, smart managers recognize them and find ways to bring concerns out into the open, addressing as many as possible, as soon as possible.

Whether it’s small group discussions or one-on-one meetings, managers need to make survivor communications a priority; inviting employees to ask questions, offer suggestions and voice their concerns.

If nothing else, the remaining employees will walk away with a bit more clarity around their role in the restructured organization.

About Susan Rink

Susan C. Rink is president and owner of Rink Strategic Communications, LLC (www.rinkcomms.com) and presenter of the "Take Note" podcast series (http://www.youtube.com/user/RinkComms).

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