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Navigating Layoffs: Why Employee Engagement Should Be a Priority

Coming back from work in an overfilled Sikandarpur metro which was oozing out with people 🚇

I somehow managed to stand close to a window so that I might get off if required, however, there was a kind gentleman giving me the seat. I saw a book in his hand, and a few newspapers falling out from the side pocket of his bag which intrigue me to ask, what are you reading? He answered nothing much, anything that can help me get through my GD/PI 🤞 This was his second attempt to get into a good business school! After hearing this and sensing a hunger to achieve his dream this year, the HR in me just connected. I asked him what all that he had prepared, which college is he aiming for, and so on. After a good conversation, he had some bigger questions for me…are layoffs the answer to gaining more margins or is it the new face of this industry, would people be replaced by AI, and so on… I could relate to a cynic in him struggling to understand if employees are expendables.🤔

In today’s fast-paced business world, layoffs have become a common occurrence. Companies may view layoffs as a necessary measure to control costs and remain competitive. However, the impact of layoffs on employees, morale and the company’s bottom line is often underestimated👎When a company announces layoffs, employees are faced with feelings of fear, insecurity, and loss of trust. The remaining employees are left to pick up the slack and may experience increased workloads and stress levels. This can lead to decreased morale, motivation, and engagement, resulting in decreased productivity and higher turnover. How can an employee invest in their creativity or bring in the next innovative idea when he knows his one mistake can cost him/her the job…

Imagine a company as a ship, its employees as its crew. When layoffs occur, it’s like throwing crew members overboard. But what happens to the ship when the crew is gone? Does it stay afloat or sink to the bottom?

The impact of layoffs extends beyond just employees! Companies that engage in frequent layoffs can experience damage to their reputation, making it more difficult to attract and retain top talent in the future. Layoffs can also lead to a loss of institutional knowledge and a decrease in customer satisfaction, as employees who are familiar with the company’s products, services, and customers depart.

From a company perspective, layoffs can lead to a loss of talent, reduced morale, and a damaged reputation. Additionally, remaining employees may experience increased workloads and stress levels, potentially leading to decreased productivity and employee engagement.

From an employee perspective, layoffs can result in feelings of insecurity, fear, and loss of trust in the company. This can lead to decreased job satisfaction, motivation, and engagement.

Did you know that 75% of employees who have experienced a layoff report lower morale and motivation at their new job? This statistic highlights just how devastating layoffs can be on the workforce, and why it’s more important than ever to invest in employee engagement and communication. Therefore, in today’s rapidly changing business dynamics, companies need to focus even more on employee engagement & experience! This gamut of HR has become so important since people all across are physiologically affected by these strings of lay-offs. It plagues their mindset as well as their planning for a career as well as their family. In order to survive and thrive in this competitive world, business needs people who can innovate and execute ideas on the ground 🧠 Hence, there is a war for talented employees is still on but all this effort of winning these talents will go flat if they aren’t engaged! According to the Gallup report, engaged employees are 78% more likely to go above and beyond their job responsibilities, leading to increased productivity and better results for the company 💞

Employee engagement is not a one-time effort! It is much more than offsites and birthday celebrations. Rather, it requires a much more strategic approach, ongoing attention, and investment from both the employer and the employee. Employers must create a supportive work environment that values employee contributions and provides opportunities for growth and development. Employees, on the other hand, must take an active role in their own engagement, by being open to feedback, taking initiative, and embracing new challenges. It is a two-way street and if one is planning to move ahead of the curve, that’s the only street to success!

“The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example” – John Wooden. During times of uncertainty and change, like layoffs, it’s crucial for leaders to set an example and invest in their employees through engagement and communication. The latest Gallup report on employee engagement provides valuable insights into how companies can improve employee engagement in the workplace. Here are some of the innovative ways to boost employee engagement highlighted in the report:


Focus on strengths: The report found that employees who use their strengths in their work are more engaged and satisfied with their jobs. Companies should focus on helping employees identify and use their strengths to drive engagement 💪

Foster a positive work environment: A positive work environment, characterized by trust, transparency, and respect, is critical to employee engagement. Companies should strive to create a work environment that is inclusive, supportive, and empowering 🫶

Encourage employee involvement: Employee involvement and empowerment are key to engagement. Companies should encourage employees to get involved in decision-making, problem-solving, and innovation 🙆‍♀️

Leverage technology: Technology can be used to support engagement in new and innovative ways. For example, companies can use virtual reality and gamification to create engaging and interactive employee training programs 🐥

So, let’s take a moment to reflect on the importance of employee engagement. Whether it’s through regular communication, recognition, and rewards, or providing opportunities for growth and development, the investment in your employees is an investment in your company’s future 🔮

Cheers,

Bibliophile Parul

References

Harter, J. (2023). U.S. Employee Engagement Needs a Rebound in 2023. Retrieved from https://www.gallup.com/workplace/468233/employee-engagement-needs-rebound-2023.aspx

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Hey there, I'm Parul, working in one of the Big 4s of consulting! 💼

By day, I'm decoding the business matrix, but by night, I transform into a book ninja, stealthily navigating the worlds crafted by the greatest authors📚✨

 

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