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Tough Times: Re-engaging Survivors after Layoffs. Prepared for: River Valley Human Resource Association February 12, 2009 Jonathan Sheff MSW/MPH MKS Performance Solutions LLC 18 N. Main Street Concord NH 03301 www.mksperformancesolutions.com 888 657 7373. Agenda. Overview Risk Issues

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Tough times re engaging survivors after layoffs l.jpg

Tough Times: Re-engaging Survivors after Layoffs

Prepared for: River Valley Human Resource Association

February 12, 2009

Jonathan Sheff MSW/MPH

MKS Performance Solutions LLC

18 N. Main Street Concord NH 03301

www.mksperformancesolutions.com

888 657 7373


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Agenda

  • Overview

  • Risk Issues

  • Strategies for Managing Transitions

    and Re-engaging Survivors

  • External Resources


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Overview

  • Strategic Mind Set

    • Employees as Costs to be Cut or Assets to be Conserved and Developed

    • Short-term vs. long-term


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Direct Costs of Layoffs

  • Severance pay

  • Accrued pay

  • Unemployment benefits

  • Outplacement

  • Pension and Benefit Payouts

  • Administrative processing costs

  • Rehiring

  • Increased turnover


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Layoffs Impact on TurnoverAverage rate for companies with no layoffs: 10.4%


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Indirect Costs of Layoffs

  • Potential lawsuits

  • Loss of personal relationship with customers

  • Loss of institutional memory and trust in management

  • Potential threats or acts of sabotage or violence

  • Heightened insecurity; reduced productivity

  • Low morale; risk-averse survivors

  • Future new hire recruitment


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Potential At-Risk Employees or Situations

  • History of aggressive or threatening behavior

  • History of depression, substance abuse

  • Prior conflicts with management

  • Major financial/personal stress

  • Inexperience with finding work


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Tone and Content of Termination

  • Leading with the Heart, Following with the Head (Emotional and Cognitive)

  • Fairness

  • Truthfulness

  • Dignity and Respect

  • Adopt a “helping” relationship


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Myths and Facts of Layoffs*

  • Myth: There are no adverse effects on the employees who remain after a layoff.

    Fact: Downsizing has adverse effects on the morale, workload, and commitment of survivors.

  • Myth: Downsized employees are sympathetic to the reasons for layoffs and don’t personalize the experience.

    Fact: Downsizing is traumatic and taken personally.

  • Myth: Stress-related medical disorders are more likely for those laid off than for those who remain.

    Fact: Survivors are just as likely to suffer adverse health consequences.

    *From Responsible Restructuring by Wayne Cascio


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Understanding Survivor Syndrome *

Individual Reactions

  • Fear, insecurity, uncertainty

  • Frustration, resentment, anger

  • Sadness, depression, guilt

  • Unfairness, betrayal, distrust

    * Healing the Wounds, David Noer


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Understanding Survivor Syndrome

Workplace impact

  • Reduced risk-taking

  • Lowered productivity/morale

  • Increased stress, absenteeism, turnover

  • Unquenchable thirst for information

  • Blaming others

  • Denial


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Transition Management Model

  • Endings

    • Disengagement

    • Disenchantment

    • Disidentification

    • Disorientation

  • Neutral Zone/Roller Coaster

    • Disorientation

    • Disintegration

    • Discovery

  • New Beginnings/Re-engagement

    • New Vision

    • Recommitment


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Effective Strategies for Managing Transition and Re-engaging Survivors

  • Over-communicate in multiple modes

  • Tell the truth

  • Seek advice

  • Listen vs. giving advice

  • Offer support and not solutions

  • Be clear about expectations for performance


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Effective Strategies for Managing Transitions and Re-engaging Survivors

  • Encourage a feeling of “we’re all in this together”

  • Visible things to share the pain

  • Discuss phases of Transition

  • Accept feelings in yourself and in people you manage

  • Allow for venting/grieving


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Effective Strategies for Managing Transitions and Re-engaging Survivors

  • Have rituals

  • Give survivors a reason to stay

  • Articulate a vision for the future


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External Resources Re-engaging Survivors

  • Legal

  • Human Resources Consultants

  • Outplacement

  • Comprehensive EAP

  • NH Department of Labor

  • NH Dept. of Employment Security


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