How to Keep Your Remaining Employees After Layoffs

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By Adeife Adeoye

Laying off employees is a painful process, but it will be more painful if you can’t motivate your remaining employees to stick with you and work with all their strength.

Employees who have already seen a mass layoff fear that your business might fail or layoff again, so they’ll be quick to jump to any other job that looks more secure. You don’t want that!

Like your customers, your employees are vital to your business. Your business will suffer a considerable loss if you don’t keep the loyalty of your employees. Your best employees know your business more than you do; they have a valuable mental database of information about your services, coworkers, customers, and partners. If you let them go, your business will suffer.

Just because your employees are silent, doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking about the impact of the layoffs or worrying about their future. You need to appreciate them and reassure them that you want them to keep working for you.

The big question we’re going to be answering is, how do you keep your employees working for you after a layoff when your business is shrinking?

Communicate, Communicate, and Communicate!

After a layoff, most of your employees will be scared and doubtful. Will they be next? Will the business be sold? Can the company still pay their salaries? Those thoughts can hurt your business. That is why you need communication!

It would be best if you told your employees how the business is doing, whether good or bad. You should have a plan to reach out to employees one on one to talk about the company. You need to explain why you needed to layoff, and assure employees that there are no more layoffs happening soon. Then follow up with a weekly financial report that would make them understand how the business is coping and tell them about everything you’re doing to increase sales.

It is all about Fairness

Being fair is the best way to keep your employees loyal to your business after a layoff. Everyone wants to be treated fairly; employees who believe your business is all about fairness are more likely to be loyal.

Let’s get this straight. Loyalty is not about how much you pay your employees. Instead, it’s about how much they believe in you to protect their jobs, and not just lay them off when everything gets stormy.

So what’s fairness at work? It means your business follows a set of employment policies that are consistent, evenhanded, and understandable. For instance, if you layoff an experienced employee but keep your lazy friend, that’s not being fair, and it shows that you can’t be trusted. Instead, if you layoff the lazy staff, including your friend, you will be showing other employees that you’re fair and can trust you to make the right decision.

Laying off your lazy friend might be tough, but it will help you run a business that your employees will respect and trust.

Being fair is not all about who you lay off or not. It is also about the amount you pay your staff. When it comes to your employee’s salary, you need to be very fair. To ensure you’re fair with your employee’s salaries, here are two things you should consider.

• How much do your competitors pay? To know how much to pay your employees, you should figure out how much your competitors pay, and pay slightly more than your competitors. Especially after a layoff, you don’t want to lose your best employee to your competitors. Unfortunately, most employers are always looking for ways to cut back on salaries after a layoff. But it is better to pay a little higher for employee retention and productivity.

• How much are other employees paid in your company? Employees have no problem accepting differences in payments as long as they can see the difference in training, skills, and job responsibilities. But if an employee is receiving better pay for no substantial reason, then that’s not fair. It is essential to be fair in pay policies.

Appreciate your Employees

Everyone wants to be appreciated for their hard work, and your employees deserve nothing less. Acknowledgment is essential after a layoff and when everyone is scared of being laid off next. If you want your business to strive after a layoff, you need to acknowledge everyone’s hard work.

So what happens if you don’t appreciate your employees?

Employees whose hard work isn’t acknowledged are most likely to conclude that there is no point working so hard. Their productivity drops, and it will affect your business.

You should develop an employee appreciation programme that works. It is not enough to create an employee appreciation programme. You have to make sure that your employees like your programme. Have a meeting with them and build it with their opinions; that way, your plan will increase productivity and loyalty.

Your appreciation programme doesn’t have to be expensive and over the top. You can create a cheap and sincere programme. It can be a public thank you via email or company meeting, or a celebration for your employees.

Maintain your sense of purpose

For your business to succeed, you need a strong sense of purpose. It doesn’t matter what you do or sell. The key is to have a purpose, which is very important to maintain, especially after a layoff. You have to make your employees believe in the value of their work. But if you’ve lost your sense of purpose, then you can’t make your employees believe in the value of their work.

It can be challenging to maintain your sense of purpose when you’re struggling to survive financially, but it is not impossible. If you run a high-quality operation, helping your employees create and participate in a bigger vision will help them build trust and loyalty in your business.

Reduce business costs

Your employees pay attention to how you spend money, especially after a layoff. You want to make sure that you’re reducing business costs as much as possible. Why should you spend so much money on paperwork and sending documents between your business and clients, when you can use a platform like AuthorizeDoc?

AuthorizeDoc can help your business reduce transactional costs, and it also improves the speed of monetary transactions. That’s not all; it is FREE! What more do you need right now?

It’s not just about reducing your business costs; it’s about reducing yours!

If your business is experiencing a financial crisis, you shouldn’t be throwing extravagant parties or driving the latest car. If not, you’d be putting your employees in a confused state.

If you want people to sacrifice for your business, you have to sacrifice first. Lead by example!

Adeife Adeoye is a content writer and CEO of Penpalms. (adeifeadeoye@penpalms.com)