In today’s tough economy, job security is hard to come by and layoffs seem to be a commonplace occurrence. A company layoff can bring down morale, even for those not being laid off. Moreover, it forces the entire team to adjust to a new way of doing things on the job, and quite often requires employees to take on new responsibilities and roles that they may be unfamiliar with. For these reasons, it is important for managers to know how to bring employees back to a productive equilibrium after the downsizing takes place. If you find yourself in that tough position, these tips for regrouping your team after a company layoff should help:
Keep employees informed. Chances are, employees are already feeling insecure about their status in the workplace. Make it a point to let them know about any trickle effect they may experience due to the layoff, long before it happens. This includes any restructuring and/or changes in raises and bonuses.
Assess employee performance. Identify your team members’ strengths and weaknesses, and also what you think you, as a manager, can do to bring out their best qualities. Use this information to set new goals and assign appropriated tasks. Remember that a downsized team is basically a completely new team altogether, and that you should approach the task of regrouping your team from a clean slate perspective.
Keep employees motivated. Your team will most likely feel a little disoriented after the layoff, and may need a little more guidance than usual. Don’t forget the importance of recognizing their successes, and be sure to remind them that there is a reason for why each and every one of them is still around – because they are valuable team players.
Incorporate team building exercises into your employee training. While it may be true that the company is downsizing, and most likely for economic reasons, team building is an expense that should not be relegated to the throw-away pile when you are cutting the proverbial fat. At a time when you most need your team’s best effort, team building is an invaluable tool. There is no better way to boost employee morale, keep team members motivated, and strengthen cooperative effort in the workplace than by implementing team building exercises.
A company layoff never feels like good news, and there is no way to avoid the resulting discomfort. However, there are ways to ease employees into the new company structure. The goal of team regrouping after a layoff is to build a better and stronger team than what could have been before, and the best way to do that is by following these simple recommendations.
About the Author: Debra Blair is a full-time writer and blogger with a passion for business and management issues.