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Anxiety at Work - Downsizing Survivors

Downsizing leaves employees to cope with either being laid off or losing a job. Tips for employers and managers to deal with downsizing survivors.

Downsizing

Downsizing leaves employees to cope with either being laid off or losing a job. Tips for employers and managers to deal with downsizing survivors.One word, but a myriad of consequences to those who must cope with either being laid off or losing a job.

Whether it's your job that is deemed "unnecessary" or your good friend down the hallway who is laid off, downsizing affects everyone in the office.

Feeling helpless. Fearing "who's next?" Watching as trust among co-workers disintegrates and a "me, first" attitude permeates the atmosphere.

By thinking through the situation and considering some of the following suggestions as options, you can increase your chances of standing up to downsizing.

Employers can:

  • Create an in-house employee assistance program to help employees with stress management and career transition.
  • Consider alternate solutions to downsizing. By advocating ideas such as job sharing or reduced work weeks, you can foster cooperation between employees and employers.
  • Keep changes in perspective.
  • Limit crisis orientation as much as possible.

Managers can:

  • Keep employees well-informed and involve them in the decision-making process as much as possible.
  • Allow employees time to "grieve" for those being laid off and be receptive to those who feel a need to discuss their feelings about the process.
  • Help laid-off workers deal with practical realities of losing their job. Encourage those employees to support each other as they look for new jobs.

Laying off or firing workers can increase stress and decrease morale. It can create a multitude of negative psychological and behavioral consequences for those left behind.

Management can help lessen the impact by providing services for employees to discuss and understand these very normal feelings.

Copyright © 1997 American Psychological Association

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APA Reference
Writer, H. (1997, January 1). Anxiety at Work - Downsizing Survivors, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/anxiety-panic/articles/anxiety-at-work-downsizing-survivors

Last Updated: July 2, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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