Layoffs—Why Employees Need Them More Than You Think


Mass layoffs are a painful but common occurrence in the corporate world, and they frequently leave workers confused about how they will be affected and what to do next.

With low unemployment rates and rapid job growth, the US labor market is currently in good shape. However, it could change very soon as many businesses need help to acclimate to the constantly changing market dynamics. In light of everything said above, mass layoffs have already begun this year at several US companies.

Microsoft revealed it is getting rid of 10,000 workers, while Google disclosed intentions to fire 12,000 individuals from its workforce. Also, Amazon started a new round of layoffs, resulting in the most significant workforce cut in the company’s history, with more than eighteen thousand job losses. Music-streaming behemoth Spotify has announced that it will lay off approximately 6% of its employees. Other prominent companies laying off workers include Capital One, Goldman Sachs, Vimeo, Coinbase, and Salesforce.

The layoffs occur amid sluggish economic growth, increased interest rates to combat inflation, and concerns about a potential recession in 2023.

When business circumstances are challenging, organizations often have little choice except to lay off their staff. Layoffs must happen to save businesses from closing down.

The higher-ups would only undertake something like this if it were essential and their situation could have been better.

Most leaders may think layoffs are damaging to employee morale and self-belief, but they can often motivate employees to succeed in their careers. The good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel for laid-off employees. It applies to those laid off and their colleagues who remain in the organization after a mass layoff. Here are some ways layoffs can help employees progress in their lives and careers.


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There are good and bad changes. It might be something positive, like a raise, or devastating, like a layoff. Change is a part of life, despite many different types of change. Change occurs whether it is favorable or unfavorable, planned or unexpected.

A company’s ability to withstand situations like layoffs depends partly on how its employees respond to change, as opposed to those who struggle due to reduced productivity and a negative perception of their employer brand.

Understanding some terminology surrounding change, such as transition and resilience, is necessary to establish teams and drive individuals who can work through the change to discover renewed positivity and purpose.

The psychological process of transition is what a person goes through when adjusting to change. Once again, good and bad. Change can cause a wide range of emotions. Even though a change is significant, not all of the feelings it brings with it necessarily will be positive, and vice versa.

According to research, different stages in the grieving process connect to job insecurity, which is the dread of losing one’s employment. Employees may initially feel intimidated by a change that jeopardizes their job security and deny it is taking place, which fuels their fury. According to another study, when people face organizational changes, they experience emotional changes resembling grief.

The ability to quickly bounce back from setbacks and adapt to change is what resilience is all about. If you consider resilience in terms of your team at work, you can think of a few individuals who stand out as resilient – those who can adjust to change fast. 

Resilient workers hold a particular perspective; they believe they are in charge of their destiny and can influence the outcomes and experiences that come their way. Resilient employees don’t ponder about their mistakes or the past. They genuinely move forward while looking forward.

People who are resilient by nature:

● Consider change as an opportunity for learning and development.

● Quickly adapt to new circumstances.

● Accept change either right away or gradually over a short period.

Not everyone has a resilient nature, but most individuals can learn how to think and behave more resiliently. Corporate leaders can help the members of their teams be more resilient in various ways. Resilience is a muscle that you build. The more you practice resilience, the greater your comfort and ease. 

Our brains shift into fight-or-flight mode when we go through a tough adjustment. Three brain systems—the cerebellum, limbic system, and cerebral cortex—are involved in the decision to fly or fight.

As we experience significant change, such as getting laid off, understanding these systems enables us to comprehend better and manage other people as well as ourselves. Our limbic system, which controls our instincts to fight or run, is where our emotional reaction to that situation begins.

The prefrontal cortex is the natural filter that includes our past experiences and innate tendencies and filters that instinctive reaction afterward. Lastly, we have our chosen course of action, or how we react to the current situation. Here is where resiliency is practical.

Resilient people handle adversity, like a layoff, more positively than others who are not. It helps them transition to their new reality faster and make adjustments to keep progressing in their careers.

2. Respect

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When respect is part of a company’s identity and culture, employees will likely see layoffs differently than without it.

Howard Behar, a hugely prominent person at Starbucks who served as the company’s president and then as a director, claimed that various factors contributed to Starbucks’ success. They were masters of market segmentation, opening stores in bustling neighborhoods and serving affluent coffee drinkers.

Through amiable baristas and a cozy, inviting setting, they transformed the establishment into a customer experience of great value to coffee enthusiasts. Customers connect with their progressive position on social issues as well. However, the culture had the most influence. It was the respectful behavior of leaders toward staff members, coworkers, and customers.

Respect is, in many ways, the tie that binds the other four of the five critical components of emotional connectedness that constitute the In Great Company approach.

People appreciate their jobs most when they get respect. In a survey of 20,000 workers worldwide, those who said their superiors treated them respectfully were 55 percent more engaged.

Another study by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) in 2014 revealed that respect for “all employees at all levels” was ranked as “extremely important” by 72 percent of workers, making it the top factor in job satisfaction overall.

Employees want to fair treatment, to be trusted, and to be listened to at work; they also wish to have a supportive, inclusive environment. Respect is regard for oneself and others. Respect in action can be evident in things like keeping your word, acting as per your words, and treating others how you want to be treated.

For some, that means the employer gives them credit for their achievements, keeps them informed, and doesn’t micromanage. Being part of a team with individuals who value your effort and knowledge implies different things to different people.

Others believe that respect is a high standard of civility that permeates the entire company. Respect, whatever its exact definition, binds us to one another and improves our ability to collaborate so that we can accomplish more together. Therefore, when respect is inherent in an organization’s culture, employees are more likely to see layoffs as beneficial to them and their colleagues in the long run.

3. Helping Them Move On With Their Career to Develop and Find A Better Place

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When managers eliminate competing interests that obstruct achievement and employees, have clear objectives, a fantastic workplace results. According to a study published in The Journal of Happiness, making headway toward our goals may even be as satisfying as reaching them.

In this instance, achievement is a result of happiness. We operate more effectively, creatively, and collaboratively when we enjoy our jobs. Therefore, success is a collection of behaviors and dynamics rather than a single occurrence or point. The fun is in the trip, in other words.

Some of the best streaming entertainment corporations employ people who may adore their workplaces. They love their job, though, not because they signed up 10 million or more new customers in any given quarter but because the company has big but doable goals that inspire employees to work as a team to achieve them.

So, if you feel your company can no longer provide employees with that inspiration, a layoff may be beneficial for them in that scenario; it allows them to move to a company whose mission aligns with their ambitions and will enable them to progress toward their personal/career goals.

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