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How to boost workplace morale after a layoff

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Northstar, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Northstar

    Northstar Gold Star Member

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    Today we unfortunately had to let 27 workers in our manufacturing plant and a few of the office staff go where I work (one of whom was in a department that works closely with my department). This is the first time we have had to lay anyone off since I have been in a management position. No one in my department was laid off, but I expect the morale in the general workplace tomorrow to not be so great. I have already set up lunch with my two direct reports on Friday (I actually set this up before I learned of any layoffs).

    What can be said to or done for the "survivors" to raise morale? Not ever having to deal with this from a standpoint of a manager, I want to say and do the right things to keep morale up and keep them confident that they are not next in line to be cut.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. MikeOC33

    MikeOC33 Cavs Fanatic

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    It depends on how secure the future of the plant is... keep in mind, even if you are on the top of the heap but are owned by a corporation, even the top boss might not be in the know about the future.

    If you are pretty confident that the rest of the jobs are safe, share what you can. Now might also be the time to cautiously point out that everyone needs to be even more productive... it sucks, but that is the way of the world right now. Unfortunately everyone has to do a little more with a little less.

    There is no "good news" to really share at this point, no "candy rainbows" to pass out. Treat people like adults, tell as much of the truth as you can, and realize in this global economy that if it can be done elsewhere cheaper... it probably will be.

    Layoffs suck. Outsourcing sucks. Fear or worry about your future employment sucks. I hate that shit.
     
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  3. dano_24_26

    dano_24_26 Sixth Man

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    What kind of manufacturing plant do you manage at? Very curious
     
  4. ChicagoCavFan

    ChicagoCavFan Moderator

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    1 person likes this.
  5. Huber.

    Huber. Adrninistrator

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    Latex
     
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  6. Soda

    Soda Bania'd

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    One thing I realized when I did a morale boosting project on behalf of a company is that transparency is often key. Here are some things I would look into:

    1) Tell them what you can and know about the layoffs. If it is financial issues, let them know.

    2) Ask them for input on how you can ensure your department stays in tact. You may not ultimately use the ideas, but one huge reason for malcontent in an organization is when people feel that their knowledge is under-utilized. Ask for some opinions, develop a rapport with all levels of employees.

    3) If you are below where these layoff decisions are being made, make sure they know that. If they know that you're not comfortable/sitting pretty, you'll have a common ground to rally on. Believe it or not, using the adversity that you're entire department is facing as a motivator is certainly possible. Make them see you as the leader of your "team", not the minion of the puffy-pocketed folks.

    I can conjure up some other stuff, but start there.
     
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  7. Toph

    Toph Not sent from Tapatalk

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    Layoffs? You're talking about layoffs?!

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Giambiwannabe7

    Giambiwannabe7 Sixth Man

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    Ridiculous. If it was latex, there would be no laying off. There would be mass hirings. Hirings by the truckload. The banana flavored condoms alone requires an enormous workforce of highly skilled latexers. The banana magnum factory? Out of control. 2 workers for each rub.
     
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  9. SuperSurge

    SuperSurge Slice & Dice Staff Member

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    Give 27 people raises.
     
  10. Jack Brickman

    Jack Brickman Preview Team

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    Tell them that, if they don't look happy at work, they're next.
     
  11. Walter White

    Walter White Preview Team

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    Tell them they are all in danger of losing their jobs to if they don't step it up...


    Then laugh and tell them that was a joke. And it was actually just a prank that all those people were let go, and they will all be back tomorrow.


    Then tell them that the last part wasn't actually a prank, that was actually real.


    I don't know, put them on a emotional roller coaster.
     
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  12. Damage

    Damage ****face

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    PIZZA PARTY!!!

    But seriously,

    Transparency is critical. Tell them, "Look, yesterday really, really sucked. I'm going to be completely honest with you - (this is where you insert what you know). Tell them how valuable assets they have been and will continue to be, and that when you hear anything you will divulge as much as you can as soon as you can. If you are in control, let them know but again, be honest.

    Let them know how dedicated they have been to your department and that, without them, etc... but cite specific examples for each one (depending on how many people work for you I suppose).

    Another thing worth mentioning, if some do have to get laid off(and they may not want it), you would be more than happy to write letters of rec's for them, explaining the nature of the situation to their next potential employer.

    Sorry man, best of luck. You can always show up with donuts
     
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  13. Northstar

    Northstar Gold Star Member

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    We make steel forgings.
     
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  14. Tornicade

    Tornicade High five!

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    Dont tell them anything. and only answer questions you know the answer to. there is no way to boost morale at this point other than a relatively stress free work place.

    the people who are shopping their resume are going to do so regardless.
     
  15. KCOTT

    KCOTT OSU Alum

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    forums crack me up, people will take the time to respond to a serious question and only about 30% of the responses will be useful
     
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  16. Coyote850

    Coyote850 In the Rotation

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    Be honest with them. The one thing that people hate the most is management telling us everything is great and then cutting hours or people. Where I work we ran record numbers last year and they pulled that shit on us over the fall/winter. Now everyone pretty much fucking hates the management and has a shitty attitude.
     
  17. Ohdang

    Ohdang Ohdang

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    From someone who has been on the receiving end a few times, you can't really make them feel ok. No matter what you say or do all they'll be thinking is "how will i pay my mortgage/car payment/buy food/etc when this happens to me?"

    The best thing i can say is don't lie to them. You'll never recover from it if you do at that company, everyone who works there will remember it forever and they'll tell every new person you ever hire how big of a liar you are
     

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