Workplace Culture

Dear Workforce How Do We Keep People Motivated Following Layoffs?

By Staff Report

Mar. 29, 2010

Dear Gloom and Doom:

The most significant challenges faced by an organization following layoffs are managing a distracted workforce, coping with increased stress caused by expanding workloads, and turnover among top talent, who have options regardless of economic conditions.

Your primary goal should be to get the workforce focused and united behind the premise that their productivity and innovation are the key drivers of organizational stability. Do some quick interviews or a survey of workers to identify their issues and concerns.

Next, focus on improving communications and transparency. If they don’t get fast, frequent and accurate information from management, employees will rely on rumors or assume the worst.

Third, solicit their help in prioritizing the work. If you don’t identify low-priority things that employees can stop doing, your remaining workers will likely be overburdened.

Next, ask each worker and team to help you make a list of the “barriers to increasing productivity,” and then commit your time and resources to eliminating those barriers.

Finally, talk individually to top performers and key employees and work with their managers to minimize any issues that may cause them to consider leaving during this critical time.

SOURCE: Dr. John Sullivan, San Francisco State University

LEARN MORE: HR professionals find themselves on edge as layoffs mount.

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The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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