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Uncertain Economic Conditions & Resulting Layoffs

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What's Next on the Cards?

Ms. Deepa has been working in an Indian based software company for the last five years. One fine Friday evening around four, she was called by the HR, and said that her services are no longer required for the company. The reason she was given, role redundancy. But in truth, she is a victim for the new mantra of IT corporates “Cost cutting”. She is just one among the hundreds who are being given pink slips across all major corporates of the IT and financial services sector. (The name has been changed on request).

With almost all companies, powerhouses included, trying to salvage what is left due to the recent economic slump, it is the common salaried man, who is affected the most. Here are a few tips that can be followed to ease the situation:

For Laid-off Employees

   

Don’t lose confidence and let yourself be bogged down with the loss of your job. This is the most essential step. Just keep in mind that this is not the end of life. There are things beyond it and you have the capacity to explore and succeed in all of them. Avoid listening to negative thoughts and develop immunity to the negative influence of people around you.

Don’t draw early conclusions and panic the people around you. Be composed and handle your emotions with utmost care. If need be, opt for a few individual and family counseling sessions. Be patient and understand that you too have your own skill set. Sooner or later you are bound to land in the right job.

Keep trying, Keep trying and Keep trying. Don’t lose hope. Try through all your contacts. Take the help of consultants and job portals. Contact your ex-employers, ex-bosses, etc because they know your merits and demerits. You will be surprised to know that your last boss will be the best source for contacts and reference. Keep attending interviews and find out whether you stand in terms of employer’s expectations.

Develop your skills and visit your basics. Use this time in the best possible way you can. Keep yourself engaged and revisit your basics. Develop all your skills and keep yourself updated. Sharpen your communication skills.

Be focused on what you want exactly want in career and move your cards accordingly. After an unexpected break like this, it is pretty tough to be clear in mind on what is going to be the next step. Still, take the help of seniors, experienced persons and get their inputs as well, to take your career forward.

For HR Managers

   

Retaining the Existing workforce - This is the biggest challenge facing the HR managers immediately after layoffs. The existing workforce begins to put down their papers in panic and anxiety. The best option is to motivate the existing workforce. Keep them informed of the developments and empower them with additional responsibility and assure them that they are in safe hands.

Be transparent with the activities to be taken and explain the reasons/ queries for layoffs. Keep employees informed on what other cost cutting measures that are to be undertaken like power cut downs, restricted usage of lifts, more charges for cafeteria services, etc. To make your employees more cooperative, invite suggestions from them on what other cost cutting measures can be implemented.

Provide stress free environment to the existing workforce and enhance their productivity level. If need be, try to arrange for one to one interactive/ counseling session.

Build team synergy – building employee morale is a key step to increase productivity. Activities like competitions, fun at work, celebrating b’days, surprise gifts from HR for meeting targets on time, daily stand up meetings, cultural activities, etc can be done with minimal budget but their effects are often far fetching.

For employees who have been left stranded, sharpen your skill set, revise your basics and be ready to face a barrage of interviews without losing hope. Your last employer may in no longer need your services, fine, but it does not mean that there are no job providers for you. When there is a will to succeed, definitely there is a way out.

For HR managers, identifying the persons to be laid off is easy, but it is tough to keep up the morale of the rest of the employees. Play your cards right, and you might just succeed.

Present scenario is turbulent and so is the future predicted to be. So it is time for all of us to be on our toes ready for anything.

Contributing Writer: Divya Kumar is a practicing HR professional in a media company divyamba@gmail.com

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