Why Employee Appreciation Matters More Than Ever: Team Morale Amid Layoffs

Employee morale amid layoffs

What do you think? Does Amazon have the highest engagement or layoff rate? Both of them. At first glance comparing these two elements may seem odd. However, once you understand how they coexist together, they can become a powerful tool to overcome any obstacle. Their compatibility creates a unique advantage that can make the impossible achievable.

In companies experiencing frequent layoffs while maintaining a high satisfaction rate, recognition appears to be a key factor in retaining employees and maintaining employee morale. Despite the possibility of layoffs, employees feel valued and appreciated for their contributions, which can boost their motivation, and sense of loyalty to the company and recover a positive company culture.

In today’s climate of mass layoffs, acknowledging and appreciating employees has become paramount for companies. As companies continue to face thousands of layoffs per day, the value of employee recognition is becoming increasingly crucial.

Employee morale amid layoffs

In recent times, the global job market has been experiencing a distressing trend with a growing number of layoffs. Beginning in 2020, this unsettling phenomenon has continued to persist, and the number became even 168,243 in 2023.

Remarkably, even companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Zoom have not been immune to this challenging situation, as they have been compelled to implement substantial workforce reductions.

Tech companies laid off employees in 2022

These statistics present a profound and disquieting picture.

Delving into these figures, it becomes apparent that understanding the impact of future layoffs on the remaining employees proves to be a difficult task.

The myth that employees will be grateful to you that you did not fire them, and continue to work with the same enthusiasm, is not even plausible. Remember victims of layoffs are the very employees with whom they have overcome numerous workplace challenges and celebrated significant achievements over the years.

So its impact on the work culture and employee morale is HUGE.

Importance of maintaining team morale during difficult times.

A high level of team morale is not ”funny to have” it is a ”must-have”

Now more than ever employee morale is quite vulnerable.

It is necessary to emphasize the team spirit, because as a result of the layoff, you may remove from the already established collaborations someone who could be the driving and unifying force of the team.

During such unsettling times, it is crucial to acknowledge the concerns and fears experienced by your employees. The changes resulting from layoffs can have a profound impact on their engagement and productivity levels.

In the face of this critical situation, employee recognition emerges as a powerful force, capable of bringing hope and motivation to the forefront.

What do we get wrong about layoffs?

1. Layoffs will not have an impact on the remaining employees’ engagement.

In the present era, it is inevitable to escape the news regarding layoffs, and it is only natural that such news would have an impact on employee morale, even for those who were seemingly “fortunate” enough to avoid being affected by the layoffs.

Huge changes in the company, the loss of the best colleagues, and sometimes the “appearance” of new employees can cause an employee uncertainty and insecurity, which will necessarily affect their performance, desire to work, and motivation.

Furthermore, these changes can have profound implications for the corporate culture of the organization, prompting the question of the stability of their work and the future of the company.

2. During and after the layoffs engagement is so messed up that it can’t be fixed.

Everything is not as difficult as it seems.

Regardless of the situation and period in the company, employees need to be valued and recognized.

Believe me, motivated employees will also come to the rescue in this matter.

Seeing that the future of the company is in danger, considering themselves the bearer of the company’s values and corporate culture, they will recognize and value their teammates and work together towards a shared goal.

For that very aim, take a step ahead towards a positive culture with Lucky Carrot.

3. Recognition is a luxury during layoffs

It is predictable that a company will be low on resources during the layoff period. However, it is crucial not to overlook the potential consequences of failing to reward and recognize employees, which can lead to these employees leaving their jobs, and, as a result, a compensatory resource will become scarce.

Even small gestures, such as expressing gratitude, acknowledging contributions, or providing emotional support, can have a positive impact on the remaining employees and help maintain a supportive work environment.

Remember that you will bear the consequences of repeated non-recognition, and this will have a substantial impact on the future of your company and its growth.

4. This is the end of the world

No, it’s not.

You only need to remember that the solution to all this is in the hands of you and your company.

By highlighting each employee of the company, and genuinely appreciating their work, you will definitely be able to get out of the situation and retain the best talent.

If you’ve already figured out the reason for your company’s culture, here are some strategies you can use to build it up.

Strategies for Maintaining Team Morale During Layoffs

1. Recognition and appreciation

Recognition acts as a signal of appreciation and support, reminding employees that their contributions matter and that they are valued members of the organization, ultimately contributing to the overall success and stability of the company.

When employees feel valued and appreciated, it helps reduce some of the anxiety and fear that may arise during layoffs. Recognition serves as a powerful tool for boosting morale, reinforcing a sense of purpose, and instilling confidence in the remaining workforce. By acknowledging the hard work and dedication of employees, even in challenging circumstances, companies can foster a positive and supportive work culture that promotes resilience, loyalty, and productivity.

2. Demonstration of how you value those who remain

Talk to each of your team members individually and reassure them of their value to you and the organization, highlighting what you feel they contribute to your effective, continuously improving the work environment.

An employee who feels valued can be the backbone of your company. By striving to provide each employee with personalized attention and emphasizing the unique values they bring to the organization, a sense of pride and motivation can be cultivated. This approach fosters an environment where employees are inspired to go above and beyond, resulting in increased employee productivity and dedication.

It is important to widely spread the culture of appreciation throughout all levels and departments of the company.

3. Transparent Communication

Open and transparent communication helps address the uncertainty, fear, and anxiety in such challenging times.

Keep employees informed about the reasons behind the layoffs, the company’s plans moving forward, and the support available to affected individuals to foster an atmosphere of trust and understanding.

Ensuring that employees are informed about the reasons for layoffs is crucial for enabling them to proactively address the situation. By providing clear and concise explanations regarding the rationale behind the layoff decision, as well as its potential impact and consequences, organizations can empower employees to understand and navigate through the challenges they may encounter.

Help them understand how the changes will affect their roles, responsibilities, and future opportunities within the organization.

4. Continuous Empathy and support

As a result of layoffs, employees become more sensitive, having feelings of worthlessness, anger, and guilt for the fact that they stayed.

The resolution of such emotional challenges relies on the establishment of a unified workplace, where mutual support and collaboration prevail. By nurturing a strong sense of cohesion and teamwork, the company culture can emerge stronger even in the aftermath of difficult situations.

By extending support to affected individuals during this difficult time, the organization demonstrates a commitment to their well-being and fosters a sense of belonging. This collective support not only helps individuals navigate the aftermath of layoffs but also contributes to a strong company culture that values compassion, empathy, and unity.

5. Focus on Team unity

In these difficult times, the most important thing, and sometimes the most difficult thing, is to unite.

And the fact that sometimes new employees come instead of laid-off employees complicates the situation even more. The situation is difficult, but not invincible.

What unites employees and makes them one driving force will be their mutual respect and peer-to-peer recognition: the appreciation of each other’s work. In this case, they will not compete, so as not to be next, but I will try to bring the company out of the situation together.

Summing up

Of course, the current period challenges the entire labor market, including your company.

When employee engagement and performance are low, the key factor for driving and saving the situation lies in recognizing and encouraging them. It is important to foster connections between both existing and new colleagues to maintain a strong corporate culture.

It is crucial to bear in mind that, irrespective of the company’s situation, the most significant assurance for its progress lies in having motivated employees.

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