Leadership: 5 Ways to Help Survivors During Job Cuts

Many organisations are in a position where they are having to reduce the number of staff that they employ.  Often when there are job cuts the people who continue to be employed also struggle.  Why?  Quite simply they are human.  They:

• Care about their colleagues
• Worry if they might be next
• Worry about how they are going to deliver the work on a day to day basis.

So as a leader, what are 5 things that you need to consider when it comes to helping the survivors during times of job cuts?

Be honest

Probably one of the first questions you will be asked is whether there will be further cuts or alternatively what is going to happen next.  As a leader you need to ready to answer this question openly and honestly.  And if the answer is you don’t know, say this and don’t make up something.

Be authentic

Let people see that you are a human being.  Chances are you will be as sad as anyone else that people have had to go.  Being able to say this should not be regarded as a sign of weakness.  In fact, research by London Business School and Insead suggests that it is a positive quality.

Muck in

Tough times are not the time to sit in an Ivory Tower divorced from reality.  Get out and about around the organisation and see what help and support you can offer.

Set clear goals

Let people know what you want to achieve and by when.  Make sure that when setting goals you answer the question that your staff will be asking- what’s in it for me?  People tend to tune in and jump on board when there is some personal benefit.

Be patient

People react to events in different ways.  Some will come to terms with what is happening straight away and be ready to move forward.  Others will need more time so recognise this and be patient where you need to be.

Bottom Line – Dealing with job cuts is never easy and requires delicate handling.  So what steps are you going to take to set yourself up for success should you need to deal with job cuts?

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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