Re-engaging employees after redundancies

Post date: Jul 10, 2012 10:14:06 AM

What to do after making your company LEAN

You have been through some cut backs and trimmed down your employees becoming a much leaner organisation. Now it is time to build up morale and re-engage your employees. The psychological contract between key decision makers and employees cutbacks has been damaged and it now needs to be re-built. There are few people unscathed by the cutbacks, even if not directly affected.

Remember back to childhood are you a younger sibling? Do you remember vividly elder siblings being punished? Often the effects of seeing older siblings punished puts the fear of god in you and either stops you from misbehaving, or makes you a little sneakier so that you don’t get found out! At least, it will result in passive aggressive tendencies.

This behaviour doesn’t change, whilst employees who are left in the organisation after cut backs may appear quiet and compliant, are they being sneaky, or perhaps passive aggressively?

Trust has been damaged; wounded workers don’t make for a happy team!

So how can we re-engage these wounded soldiers? I would like to suggest a few steps that will start the process of healing:

  1. Decision makers to humbly admit if they made any mistakes and put their hands up (if you don’t start with this any further steps could aggravate the problem).
  2. Decision makers to communicate empathy (this has to be honest)
  3. Give employees a voice so there concerns can be heard (and addressed wherever possible). This will help produce security in employees.
  4. Communicate respect and value to existing employees.
  5. Re-envision employees to the leaner organisation (values, vision and goals).
  6. Help employees settle into their new roles and give them tools to manage the new workload effectively.
  7. Invest in training and development (this will enable employees to feel that they have true value for the future).

Sally Butler Chartered MCIPD