Living guilt in the workplace is real

1641058736 Living guilt in the workplace is real

As the COVID-19-induced decline deepens and lets employees leave, companies should recognize the remaining employees, a coaching firm advises.

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While there were nearly 1.6 million permanent job cuts in the first half of 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the number of unemployed at nearly 18 million. These staggering numbers show that those who are still hired almost certainly feel the weight of the guilt of the survivors, according to global position and industry coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

"The guilt of Layoff's survivors is very real and commonplace, even in a strong economy where former colleagues are likely to find other strong jobs," said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president at the company, in a statement. "But, now, the added pressure of working and living through a pandemic can make the guilt of survivors even worse. "

This is because whether one colleague is laid off or there are major layoffs, there is lower confidence for those who are still there, Challenger said. “Even if the layoffs are considered 'for a reason', remaining employees may not only feel sorry for their former employees, they also need new relationships construction and redistribution work, which creates additional pressure, "he said.


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An online survey in June of 150 human resources officers at companies of various sizes and businesses across the country asked the company how they are dealing with the virus. While only 3% of respondents said that some or all of the staff had been laid off, and 23% said that some fur workers had been reinstated, 20 % that their companies have made permanent layoffs in response to the pandemic. , up from 11% in March, Challenger said.

“While many workers - and their employers - may have hoped that layoffs were the result of the temporary pandemic, the strong fact is that job losses are growing lasting across many industries, "Challenger said.

The number of unemployed people on a temporary layoff fell by 2.7 million in May to 15.3 million, following a sharp rise of 16.2 million in April, according to the Bureau of Labor. Among those not on temporary layoff, the number of permanent layoffs continued to rise, rising 295,000 in May to 2.3 million, the bureau said.

“As these new normal work environments are reduced, employers should be proactive in addressing the mixed feelings that are common in their employees,” Challenger said.

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He offered the following advice on how employers can work through the guilt of those who survived their teams:

  • Thank goodness your existing staff mourns those relationships. Employers should recognize that these feelings of guilt are real. Their staff may be wondering why others have been fired and blocked. Anxiety can escalate about when it happens again. This can lead to low confidence and can create undeveloped employees. Company executives should be available to listen to these concerns and to put pressure on the company that values ​​these employees.

  • Communicate company plans to all employees. Create a communication plan that provides guidance on how managers should address recent layoffs to their existing employees. This is especially necessary if the company is to lay down more employees. No doubt issues arise, and employees may feel the need to look elsewhere for work. To retain your existing talent, let your employees know that you value them.

  • Conduct engagement studies. Measuring confidence can still be challenging when many employees are still working from home. Circulating a survey to keep your finger on the pulse of confidence and engagement can give employers valuable insight into how their teams are feeling. Supervisors should conduct one-on-one video conferencing to listen to employee feelings after layoffs.

  • Adjust the resulting workload evenly and efficiently.

  • Recognize the good work, including the good work of those who have been put off. At a time of layoff that is directly for business purposes and not the fault of those admitted, acknowledging that these employees were vital and helped the company grow. Existing employees know if their colleagues were good employees and will understand that their employer recognized this as well. Be vocal in appreciating the contributions of those left behind.

Failure by employers to recognize that survivors are dealing with a range of emotions can motivate employees with fear instead of loyalty, Challenger said.

"This can lead to unskilled workers jumping on board as soon as the economy recovers, and opportunities present themselves," he said. leave employers struggling to fill the positions of the most capable employees to keep their businesses afloat. "


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