Downsizing is a reality. People lose their jobs. Those who don’t lose their jobs are left behind to do the same amount of work, yet with less manpower to do it. The layoff survivor’s tendency to feel victimized can be high. Negativity can invade the workplace, and people’s motivations can wane. The downward spiral for the survivors has begun.
One key to reversing that downward spiral is to look for ways to improve. Then, advance those improvements.
By working to make things better, to add value and to improve, you can turn around the survivor’s guilt and victimization you may feel because the weight of the company has been placed squarely on your shoulders. When you refocus your attention to a project, you can avoid or minimize the self-pity and fear that can invade your thoughts and hurt your overall performance.
The Three Keys
There are three areas that are ripe for this attention: improve your company, improve your work group and improve yourself.
Let’s face it—your company had to lay off people for a reason. The leaders of the company were forced to take this action. No one wants layoffs, including company leaders. In the process, they selected the workers to remain with the company in hopes that they will be able to survive and thrive in the future. They selected you.
In essence, they are counting on you to help them help their company survive. Anything you can do to improve the profitability and functioning of the company will be welcomed. By adding a reverse the downward spiral and enable the future success of the company. Adding to the bottom line by controlling expenses, increasing sales and improving productivity can all work towards this end.
Working within your department or workgroup, with an eye on improvement, is another area where you can impact layoff survivors.
In addition to actions that can add value to the company, a focus on making sure that your department, team or workgroup is working synergistically and positively can bring great returns. Whether you are that group’s leader or a group member, infusing a positive and proactive attitude in the group will help it focus on the work of improving the company. Looking for ways to make the team function more efficiently, and in essence to help it improve, can motivate the group members.
Finally, taking an active role in improving yourself during these recessionary times is a smart strategy. What can you do to learn more that will make you better at your job? Are there courses you can take? Are there projects you can volunteer for that will broaden your skills? Are there podcasts that you can listen to during your commute?
Grasping the Big Picture
One of the mistakes layoff survivors make is to immerse themselves 24/7 in the job, failing to see the forest for the trees. Understanding the broad context of how your company fits into your business, which fits into the economy, increases your value and your ability to perform well in your job. While it may appear to be selfish, the reality is that you add value to your team and to your company by improving yourself. Adding value to your company, improving the functioning of your team, and enhancing your skills should be objectives for any career-minded worker during even the best of times. These actions initiate the upward spiral that can make a business—and your career—thrive. Focusing on improvement increases an importance in these recessionary times. You have survived once; let’s make sure it happens again. daily strategy of, “How can I work to improve this company’s profit today?” you will be able to refocus on the positive,
|Meet the Author
Marsha Egan is a certified executive coach and professional speaker, specializing in leadership development and positive change. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Web at www.marshaegan.com