I think the answer is ‘pretty darn”. I was reading an article today which was discussing when a company has a run of layoffs, they need to follow up on those layoffs otherwise they run the risk of lower productivity and trashed reputations. What I liked from this article was the following quote:
“ There is a great myth that, following a layoff, the surviving employees will be so grateful that they still have a job that they’ll work harder and be more productive. The opposite is usually true.”
I really liked that quote because I believe it is true. And I believe this for two reasons:
1 – I have been through layoffs
2 – Some of my best recruits have been candidates who came from a company that just laid off some people
Being laid off is not an enjoyable experience for anyone. Granted some people volunteer to be laid off, but ultimately it is not an experience people want to go though. But surviving a lay off is not a great experience either. I have seen my share of shake-ups in an organization and once the layoffs are done and you have settled back in, a lot of questions pop up into your mind.
Many of your friends are likely gone. Tensions are a bit higher. The whole dynamic of an organization can change over night. Those are big obstacles to over come and often times can lead to more of a shake-up then expected. Those people, who survived, are likely not as happy as before.
As a recruiter, this is a great time to swoop in and look for candidates. People will start to look for a job once their employment satisfaction drops below a certain level. These candidates often represent some of the best talent available in the labour market so stay on top of your local news to see what is going on in terms of layoffs.
Ultimately, there is a big onus on the company to monitor the morale of any company. Employees need to be kept in the know and re-assured about the position of the company (within reason). Ignoring this can lead to a growing frustration within the staff, and your top-performers are likely going to start looking elsewhere…
** The article can be found in the OTTAWA HR MAGAZINE – May 11, 2009 issue – Written by Stefan Dubowski