Managing Your Business Post-Layoff

During periods of economic uncertainty, businesses begin to examine alternative solutions for cost containment and operational efficiencies. Layoffs have unfortunately been a result of the current economic situation for many businesses. However, companies often risk losing efficiencies and cost savings that should result from layoffs if there is not proper attention given to the remaining workforce. Often surviving employees feel mixed emotions of relief and guilt that they survived the layoff, but that their co-workers were not as fortunate, and apprehension that they may still be at risk. Management must recognize these emotions if they want to ensure that their own individual work force remains focused and productive. Here are some things to consider:

  • Honestly Communicate and Empathize - There is often a period of adjustment, and managers should recognize this by empathizing with their remaining workforce and listening to their concerns. Managers should also be aware of the fact that rumors can be more damaging than the factual reason the company makes certain decisions. Employees may even assume more layoffs are inevitable and begin spreading rumors which can have a negative impact on productivity. Honestly communicating with employees, even when it is bad news, is often better than the remaining uncertainty.
  • Keep Things Familiar - If there was always a Monday morning staff meeting, keep the Monday morning meeting in place. After a layoff, employees will experience a heightened sense of insecurity, so being able to rely on certain areas of familiarity can have a positive effect on productivity.
  • Recognition and Rewards – The remaining workforce will often have to bear the burden of a heavier workload with fewer employees to perform the responsibilities. In tough economic times there may not be the budget for bonuses or merit increases, but there are many recognition programs that can be implemented to let employees know that you are aware of the added burden and that you appreciate their hard work.
  • Future Goals – Communicate the strategic direction of the organization with employees and each employees role in helping the company achieve those successes. By communicating with employees about their future in the organization and the companys goals, employees will feel more vested and connected to the organization.

While layoffs may become a necessary action for an organization, being prepared can set the stage for a more positive outcome. The best advice is: be smart, plan and communicate, and you can steer clear of avoidable risk. Oasis Outsourcing PEO clients can contact their support team for advice and assistance with workforce adjustment issues.