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5 Ways To Support Redundancy Survivors

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Mention the word redundancy and people inevitably think of the unfortunate individual who has been relieved of his or her role, and no wonder.

But the impact of redundancies is felt more broadly than just those leaving the organization. It can be an emotionally life-changing experience. What happens to those left behind in the workplace in the aftermath of layoff programs, the survivors, and how can employers ensure they get the support they need?

1. Scratches under the surface

On the surface, nothing has changed for those employees who are still in their roles. They still have paid employment and don’t have to go through the upheaval of finding a new job and settling down. They no longer have to worry about paying their rent or mortgage if they can’t find a job before their unemployment benefits run out, causing all the stress involved.

Surviving employees will initially feel relief after the termination program is complete. But the emotions that follow can lead to sleepless nights and worse.

Whether it’s overkill, underperformance, or a takeover, the need for redundancy sheds light on the health of your business. A common belief might be that if a company is in such dire straits that it has to lay off staff, it may not be able to turn its fortunes around and become successful again. This can lead to more pressure to perform better, even if it is self-imposed. It can be stressful. You may be concerned about the potential for personnel changes to address the gap created by turnover, and you may be concerned about the potential increase in workload.

The way a manager takes care of the rest of the workforce can make the difference between a business simply surviving or actively prospering in the future.

2. Respect fear

Once the firing process is over, people typically leave feeling insecure about their position within the company. They no longer feel safe and secure in their employment, which is a difficult time for employers. Fear can be a great motivator, and the time after redundancies is often a time to hunt for jobs that feel safer or that could be poached by competitors.

Rumors of corporate layoffs have spread around the world, and other employers may be watching the situation closely. While this could work in favor of those who were laid off, it could spell disaster for the surviving teams. Further employee turnover is a significant risk, and employees may follow former colleagues into the ranks of competitors.

For employers to avoid too many resignations following redundancy programs, the best way to start is by listening. Whether it’s one-on-one or an employee opinion poll, the only true way to know the morale of a surviving employee is to hear from them. Listening to their fears and concerns is essential to dealing with them and setting them on a more positive path.

3. Understanding grief

When working relationships are close and productive, survivors may experience a feeling much like a bereavement. As with any loss, these feelings can be exacerbated by fear of what might happen next or the stress of a change in workload.

The emotional impact of losing a friend or colleague can be multiplied by the impact of more work. If this is work previously done by a verbose colleague, the insult may feel added to the injury. This is excessive for survivors and can lead to increased absenteeism due to illness. Like an elastic band, emotional resilience can only be stretched to its limits. If it stretches too much, it will break.

Monitoring absenteeism and reasons is key to understanding the pressures employees face. A good redundancy program should also include implementing or enhancing staff mental health support. If employers do not have the resources to provide this support directly, they can offer advice and guidance on outside assistance that may be available to survivors.

4. Remember all employees

The turmoil of a downsizing program and its aftermath usually focuses on the staff and survivors who have been let go. But what is often overlooked is the well-being of the managers responsible for the layoffs that occurred.

Much of the workload falls on managers, and from that position they are exposed to process stress from all directions. But managers are also employees, and it’s possible that they’re grieving the loss of a friend or colleague, let alone dealing with guilt.

It is important that employers do not overlook managers and the help and support they may need. They will feel strained if they used to manage a close and effective team but now have to reorganize with a reduced staff and a similar amount of work.

It could be something as simple as a forum where you can talk to other managers in the same position, or something deeper like counseling. You need encouragement, a friendly ear, and you also need to see future opportunities.

5. De-focus

Great business leaders always have a vision of what they want their business to be, its goals and objectives. Hopefully, this vision has played a large role in the planning and rationale for the workforce reduction program and is already being communicated to employees (both laid off and those remaining). As businesses grapple with the aftermath of these job cuts, there’s never been a more critical time to double down on that vision.

If employers can effectively share their vision with survivors, they can gain insight into what their future looks like in your organization and the opportunities available to them.

With internal communication so important, now is the time for employers to build and improve how they engage with their employees. Rewarding staff for innovation, celebrating their success, or even considering long-term retention bonuses for key employees are all part of a coordinated strategic effort to rebuild momentum.

By creating a culture where goals and aspirations are shared and everyone feels together, employers can move from a difficult chapter to an inspiring place where all employees feel valued and find opportunities and better times. You can gradually shift your focus to the future.

DELTA Data Protection & Compliance, Inc. Academy & Consulting – The DELTA NEWS – Visit: delta-compliance.com

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