Surviving Employees after Job Termination

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Almost everyone that has worked in corporate America has been exposed to the bureaucratic downsizing process either as a victim or a survivor. The massive termination of a significant portion of the workforce of a company can leave behind surviving employees that have low morale and an uncertain prospect for their own future success with the company.


People's jobs are their livelihood, their sense of meaning, or, at the very least, a great way to occupy eight hours a day. The company needs to understand the ramifications of a workforce that has lost its job security, and should take special measures to make the process as painless as possible. Companies can be pro-active when faced with layoffs and help the surviving employees overcome low productivity, low morale, health problems, and an uncertain future.
When an employee encounters the first rumors of an impending downsizing, their world is filled with uncertainty. The employee immediately loses the capacity to weigh the outcome of their actions, and creates questions about their future role with the company, opportunity for future advancement, and whether or not they will be ultimately fired (Paulsen et al., 2005, p.465). The situation where the workforce is notified by rumors presents an unwelcome situation for everyone involved. According to Cascio and Wynn (2004), "many employment downsizing efforts fail to involve employees in any decisions either about the process or the desired outcome. As a result, employees feel powerless and helpless, and there is massive uncertainty in the organization" (p.427). ...
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