Leading your employee ahead after your company has dealt with layoffs
With the ups and downs in the economy, thousands of people have been laid off and the employees left behind have been forced to pick up the extra work and try to fill the shoes of those that have been fired. After you have laid off some people, it can be difficult to find a way to lead the rest of your employees and to keep their trust. These individuals may be naturally worried about being laid off too and the psychological effects of losing their friends can often be a bigger burden than employers realize.
Hold a meeting
After the layoffs have taken place, you need to sit down with the remaining employees and squash any rumors that may be circulating about further layoffs. When people lose their co-workers, they are naturally suspicious and anxious about losing their jobs as well so you must reassure them that they are not going to lose their jobs.
Simply let your employees know that they are safe and you are going to do everything possible to keep their jobs safe and to try and get production going again so you can even bring back some of the people you lost. There isn't much you can do about the rumors that will circulate and scolding employees for talking about the layoffs over the water cooler will not help the situation.
Give them time to heal
Losing employees is like losing a member of their family. It is going to take some of your employees awhile to get over all the issues that arise when you layoff people. You need to give your employees a few weeks to cope with their emotions and overcome the feelings of anger and frustration that come with losing employees. If it seems like it is taking some of your employees an unusually long time to cope with their feelings, you may want to hire a therapist to come in and talk to your employees and help them overcome these emotions.
It's not going to be easy to deal with these emotions so you must be considerate of your employees and recognize that not everyone will heal the same way. Sometimes they are going to be angry and they will lash out. Instead of lashing out at them, call them into your office and let them vent their frustrations. Sometimes people just need someone to listen to them.
Support your employees
Employees must be emotionally supported. If your employees feel they can trust you and come to you with concerns, it will be far easier for them to re-commit to their job duties. Employees will be able to trust you to lead them ahead and they will no longer be suspicious of any activities that go on in closed door meetings. As you give them the emotional support they need, things will start to get better and pretty soon they will be able to start thinking outside the box again and they will start working on becoming productive again.
Plan for the future
Bring your staff together and start making plans for the future. As you work together with your employees to think about the future, it will be easier for all of you to look upon the business with a long-term approach.
A big part of the layoff healing process depends on how you handle the layoffs. If you come in with an iron fist and remain emotionless about losing people that have been contributing to the business, your employees will resent you and they will not trust you to lead them into a secure and productive future.