Apr 17, 2020
Written by: Amy Stern, Managing Director, Research and Strategy, BI WORLDWIDE
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After making the difficult decision to reduce their workforce, research shows organizations must consider how to support those leaving and employees who remain.Scroll Down
There are uncertainties in business. We plan, innovate and conserve, but there are still times when that is not enough. As difficult as they may be, workforce reductions are sometimes the only way to preserve the business, and more importantly, to preserve the jobs of even more people. When reductions happen, many companies do as much as they possibly can for exiting employees, often including severance packages or outplacement services. But what about those employees whose jobs are still intact? Is there anything we need to do differently to support them?
Our research shows those employees who work for companies that experienced workforce reductions in the previous year are less happy at work, less committed to the company, and perform with less intensity. Although they are likely grateful to have kept their jobs, their experience at work has no doubt changed.
Specifically, those who were not part of a layoff or furlough are actually more fearful than those who work for companies that did not experience workforce reductions at all. They also feel more in the dark on company decisions, find their companies less exciting, are more concerned about their future, are more overworked, feel less recognized and find their purpose less clear. This research provides strong evidence that organizations who must make the difficult decision to reduce their workforces should carefully consider how to best support those who must leave and those who get to stay.
After planning for how to support departing employees, companies should ask themselves what they can do for their remaining workforce. Consider how to:
Workforce reductions of any kind are never taken lightly. The pain is real for both employer and employee and there are many resources available to help departing employees through the transition.
However, in the midst of caring for those departing employees, attention often gets detracted from the employees who remain. Those are the employees we are going to rely on to come out of this difficult time – to be creative, to innovate and to endure and sustain us for the future. Ultimately, it was saving these jobs that led to the difficult decision to reduce the workforce so we should do everything we can to protect them.