How To Motivate Staff Who Have Escaped Redundancy
Redundancies and reorganisations are the stuff of nightmares, not only for those unfortunate enough to lose their jobs, but traumatic also for those who are left behind to carry on with the organisation’s business.
Naturally the focus falls onto departing staff and the anguish that this creates, but there is often there is not enough attention given to those staff who remain and a lack of appreciation for their concerns and worries moving forward. It is essential to keep the “survivors” onboard and focused, otherwise the new future for the organisation is put at severe risk.
The following steps are essential to achieve a motivated and engaged workforce:
1. Understand It is important to understand the effects of the redundancy process on your colleagues. Start with those close to you (subordinates, peers, managers) and listen to them. Colleagues want to be heard and their unique circumstances acknowledged. People are realistic – they know what challenges their company faces and recognise when it is time to ‘get on with it’. Understanding carries no cost and can help people move on and re-focus more rapidly.
2. Set clear direction. Company goals may have changed, with the business steering a new path. It is important to tell employees this. Be clear about priorities, and let each person know what part they in this new era. Knowing what the new reality is will allow staff to get on with things and settle into the new structure.
3. Communicate effectively from the top down. To make this effective make sure that you really understand how communication systems work – this is not the time to be sending out messages that have little likelihood of being received and understood. If there are glitches in your communications model these need to be firmly fixed before you send out your messages. Be clear about key messages how they might be received, and what action you want recipients to take, having a clear idea of using appropriate media.
4. Seek out and use employee input. What do staff think and feel? Use this to shape the ongoing process ad to make sure that the correct messages are being received and acted upon. Be specific and genuine in all your dealings with no exceptions.
There are many pitfalls in this very sensitive and, for many, a time of great uncertainty – the trick in navigating this is to consistently act in the best interests of the company while delivering solid and reliable leadership and direction. The more engagement as everyone moves through the transition curve the more likely it is that the company will emerge with a motivated and productive workforce.
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