WHILE the techniques of communicating with people who are laid off tend to receive a lot of attention, often neglected during a redundancy exercise is the impact of the upheaval on those who remain after redundancy — the survivors.
Here are four tips to help leaders anticipate the impact of redundancy on those employees who remain in the organisation, how that impact can adversely affect business, and what you can do to contain the damage:
1 Alleviate concerns about job futures
Remaining employees may harbour the fear that their job may be the next on the chopping block.
Downsizing affects the employees who still have their jobs as much as the ones who lost theirs. Workers may be worried if they will be next. If this is not the case, alleviate these concerns as early as possible.
2 Restore business confidence
Employee confidence in the ongoing viability of the organisation may be at risk.
Involve remaining employees in conversations about the business outlook and the steps being taken to improve the business position.
3 Repair employee trust in leadership
Employee trust in company leaders may be bruised. In some ways, the decision to offer redundancy can be viewed as a fundamental slight on the capacity of managers to manage the business.
It can also be seen as a breach of the trust that was implied in the original offer of permanent employment.
Bruised trust can only be restored by working hard to demonstrate that, as an employer, you can make and keep your promises.
4 Bolster morale and productivity
Uncertainty, anxiety and depression may arise from organisational restructuring and changes to the way work is done, increasing workloads and how relationships are played out.
Survivor guilt might also creep into the equation as remaining employees question if they were more deserving to remain employed when compared with their colleagues whose positions were made redundant.
Morale and productivity can dip significantly. Leaders can do a lot of things to address this upheaval:
• Acknowledge that the responses of remaining employees after a redundancy programme are entirely normal, and allow some space for new methods to yield results, new relationships to be forged and confidence to be restored;
• Continue to keep high levels of employee involvement in decisions that affect them;
• Listen without judgment to employee concerns;
• Offer clarity about their roles if changed;
• Offer support and be generous with your training in the new ways of business; and
• Spread truthful optimism about their future in the business. If this remains uncertain, don’t promise what you can’t expect to deliver.
The process of downsizing and redundancy is stressful. So too are the consequences of these strategies on the remaining workforce. If not managed well, this is where the majority of change programmes fall over.
Your organisation might pay the price in lost productivity, poor morale, damaged market reputation and reduced customer responsiveness for years to come.
Minimise the negative consequences by giving your post-redundancy programme your highest strategic priority.
Article by Di Worrall, who helps successful corporate leaders and small business owners with the skills and confidence to make change happen. For more information, visit www.humanresourceschange.com.au/change-management.html. Article source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Di_Worrall