Discussions centered around layoffs are never easy. In recent years, downsizing has become an increasingly relevant topic. And if your company is dealing with any form of reorganization, chances are it’s affecting more than just employee headcount. Layoffs pose a risk to a company’s morale, introducing new challenges throughout an organization.
Employees who managed to avoid being laid off, also known as survivors, come out less than unscathed. Studies have shown that these survivors are plagued with concerns regarding their job’s security, the stability of the company, and heightened stress as a result of increased workloads and re-structured teams. This phenomenon is known as Survivor’s Syndrome, and it can directly affect your business. Experts have proven that these uncertainties lead to higher employee turnover, a decrease in employee performance, burnout, and a lack of trust in their organization; drastically affecting the culture and employee morale. So how should employers position themselves in a way that boosts morale, enhances culture, and results in stronger relationships and improved employee performance? Here’s what we know.
Company culture has always been a leading factor in creating a company’s identity. So it’s no surprise that now more than ever a company culture is a direct indicator of a business's well-being. In fact, studies have shown that 88% of employees believe strong company culture is crucial for a business’s success.
Company culture consists of the shared assumptions, generalizations, values, and principles that shape the company’s environment by putting understood social and psychological guidelines into place. Furthermore, an employee in an organization might define a stable culture as one that practices open and honest communication, shared respect amongst employers and employees, and a collaborative team environment. All of these qualities are important, but each company is different and contains its own values and principles.
Take Google for example. Aside from being the most utilized search engine on the planet, Google has also gained notoriety for its unique company culture, which includes being named Comparably’s recipient for Best Company Culture in 2021.
While perks like a casual dress code and a dog-friendly office are one thing, Google’s culture thrives because of its understood values. The trust they build with their employees is a direct result of strong communication, evident transparency, and an understanding of the importance of personal development for professional growth.
But Google didn’t create this culture overnight. Since its start in 1998, Google has been seeking out ways to optimize its culture, and all of these efforts center around its values of encouraging individuality, creativity, and collaboration.
It takes time to build trust between employers and employees, a task that Google and many other companies alike have proven to be invaluable. In addition to directly affecting business, having a stable company culture is also linked to higher rates of productivity, performance, and employee loyalty.
When the values of a company are not clearly defined and effectively communicated, it leaves employees feeling uncertain in times of trouble.
Survivor Syndrome is a widely known consequence of company layoffs. Survivor Syndrome can be defined as the psychological consequence of layoffs, downsizing or reorganization in a workplace. Survivor Syndrome can leave employees feeling a sense of guilt and confusion. It depletes any feeling of security and forces them to question their fate within the company. These symptoms have been known to cause an increase in employee turnover, hindered productivity from overwhelming workloads, burnout, and decreased employee engagement.
So how does a leader recover from such chaos to return to a stable environment for you and your team?
Change isn’t always welcomed, but it often provides new insight and opportunity. Position this adversity as a chance to learn new skills and grow in a professional setting. Encourage motivation and open reflection as employees and managers adapt to new responsibilities and challenges they may face. Gain an understanding of how this layoff has affected them and make strides to understand from their perspective. Remind yourself and your employees of the value that they bring to your organization’s goals.
Studies show that 94% of employees would remain in their current roles longer if their employers adopted ways to invest in their professional development. Investing in your employee's growth and development also leads to higher productivity levels and learned skills to take to their regular job.
Provide your employees with all the tools they need to become their most productive and dedicated selves. Schedule a demo to see how Valor can help ignite your employees’ passion and stabilize company culture after a layoff.