January 10, 2023

Here's how managers can prevent employee burnout during layoffs

Between the Great Resignation, quiet quitting, and mass layoffs, there is a ton of uncertainty in the job market and economy right now.

We’ve seen companies like Meta, Twitter, Lyft, Coinbase, Shopify, Netflix, Microsoft, Robinhood, and others lay off thousands of employees. Unfortunately, we’ll continue to see more companies follow suit throughout the rest of 2022.

If your company has recently laid off employees or is planning on letting people go, managers should be conscious of how this will affect those who stay with the organization. These team members may have anxiety about their job security and the success of the company. They may also be afraid to take on the work of those who are gone, leading to burnout, low engagement, and underperformance.

During layoffs, hiring freezes, and major structural changes, companies must focus on building culture and protecting employees’ well-being. In order to retain remaining employees and prevent burnout, company leaders and managers can prioritize the 3 Cs: Communication, Community, and Coaching. The Perfeqta team outlined how you can get started.

Encourage and embrace difficult conversations with your team.

Whether your company is going through a layoff, hiring freeze, or restructuring, be transparent about what’s happening internally. Share the facts about why downsizing is necessary and avoid dismissing what’s happening. Your people are talking about what’s going on, so the biggest mistake leaders and managers can make right now is to not say anything at all.

Increase your contact with your team and have open discussions about employee sentiments. Manage expectations and listen to their concerns, fears, and doubts. Share what you know from the top down and create a feedback loop so employees feel comfortable advocating for support.

Continue to build community within your organization.

If you’re in a management or leadership role, it may not be your fault that organizational change is happening, but it is your responsibility to show up for your team.

Keep team-building activities on the calendar so employees are able to connect with each other inside and outside of the workplace. Some team members may feel alone and out of the loop. When you prioritize teamwork and make sure everyone is aligned on department goals and priorities, they will see how their contribution supports the company’s evolution during a time of change. This also ensures no one is working in silos or feeling out of place.  

Talk to your team members about their career goals.

Survivors' guilt is real after a layoff and your employees may be wondering if they have a future at your organization.

Leaders and managers can nurture a safe environment by talking to employees 1:1 and making sure they feel valued, supported, and set up for success. If your team is smaller, make sure your people aren’t overworked or overwhelmed. Move due dates if needed and help them prioritize their most important tasks. This is the time to focus on professional development and helping team members create an effective career roadmap without burning out.

Learn more about building a supportive, engaging, and inclusive company culture.

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