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Survivor’s Syndrome

Following a downsizing or lay-off as a result of reorganization, acquisition, or merger, organizations face many change management challenges that affect the bottom line. One of the most challenging is helping survivors (those employees who remain with the organization) overcome their potentially negative reactions to the situation so that they may continue to be productive, motivated, and positive. Negative reactions are caused by downsizing’s violations of two fundamental human motivating forces:

  • The need for security – downsizing eliminates an employee’s sense of security.
  • The desire for fairness – survivors identify with downsizing victims and as a result, may distance themselves from the organization, feeling that loyalty deserves job security.

Job anxiety and job insecurity stifles innovation, deadens morale, decreases productivity and quality, undermines loyalty, and increases distrust of management. The Dawson & Dawson Surviving Downsizing Program modifies negative reactions, facilitates positive change, and minimizes potential organizational problems.

Survivor’s Syndrome

  • How Downsizing Affects Employees
  • Organizational Imperatives for Downsizing
  • Changes in the Organization, Work Group, and Individual Responsibilities
  • Techniques to Deal with Changes
  • Taking Responsibility for Your Career
  • Gaining Control of Your Future

Program outline

By addressing survivors’ needs for security and desire for fairness through a focused program, the organization achieves the following:

  • Constructive identification of shared values, missions, and goals.
  • Enhanced communications, reducing rumors and improving information flow.
  • Reduced management and employee guilt, fear, and grieving.
  • Redefined responsibilities and objective evaluation of skills.
  • Validation of employee value and contribution.
  • Improved employee responsibility for skill and career development.