Jun 22, 2019
Written by: Siddharth Reddy
(View Author Bio)
Employee engagement is usually not the foremost priority for organisations during layoffs. To avoid an adverse impact, make it a priority and manage employee sentiment, opinion, and morale and help navigate the organization through these crucial times.Scroll Down
Employee Engagement in the Face of Layoffs
The industry has seen a spate of layoffs recently due to digitalisation, automation, mergers and acquisitions and/or poor company results. Layoffs aren’t like ripping off a Band-Aid, where it’s “business-as-usual” once done, albeit with a sudden pain that passes off quickly. The actual effects are far-reaching. Many businesses think that pro-active PR efforts can help them emerge unscathed from layoffs, when actually what they need is to focus on the people involved in the equation - affected and continuing employees - to mitigate damage. Let’s take a look at the impact of layoffs and targeted engagement strategies to tackle its ill-effects.
How to Support Laid-Off Employees
Laid-off employees are the most affected and how organisations facilitate the exit plays a crucial role in how they respond. If you recall the Bochum Nokia incident, where within a week of layoff news being conveyed to employees, thousands of protestors gathered and angrily crushed the brand’s phones while unions advocated boycotting Nokia’s products. The response delivered a big blow to its market share in Germany, leading to a sales loss of nearly €700 million during 2008-2011. Fast-forward to 2011, the telecom giant faced another retrenching requirement. Only this time, it was better-prepared and deployed a targeted exit plan so employees felt that the exit process was just and unbiased and was better received. So how do you manage laid-off employees fair and square?
How to Motivate Your Continuing Employees
A culture of fear and uncertainty experienced during layoffs doesn’t do good to employee morale, motivation or productivity.
A research study by BI WORLDWIDE, depicted graphically here, shows how employee happiness, commitment and performance scored among 402 respondents who survived layoffs in workplaces vs. 636 employed in workplaces without layoffs. There is a noticeable drop in employees sentiment and performance in workplaces with layoffs even though they survived the crisis; if not mitigated it can do serious damage. So how do you tackle it?
Make sure their immediate managers are available to listen to employees’ fears and concerns, so they don’t have to go elsewhere to voice their worries.
Employee engagement is usually not the foremost priority for organisations during layoffs. To avoid an adverse impact, make it a priority and manage employee sentiment, opinion and morale and help navigate the organization through these crucial times.
Also published on Forbes India: https://bit.ly/2KyuIPy