Linked – The ripple effects of layoffs

This was written on the BBC website in February:

“Some experts warn that if waves of layoffs like the ones we’ve recently seen ­­– or even just the looming possibility of such cuts ­– continue to be part of working life, organisational cultures could also deteriorate, having a grim ripple effect on everything from employee engagement and productivity, to physical and mental health. And what’s worse, these conditions could touch generations to come.”

Ten months later, I think it’s safe to say we are there. Do you feel that dread whenever you think about work or year-end performance reviews, even though you’ve been doing good work? Are you seeing more and more people working through sickness, some even going into the office for meetings while sick? How about people answering emails and dropping in on meetings during their PTO? This is all performance in response to stress. Sure, you’re doing a good job, but will that be enough to prevent you from being part of the next reduction in force?

It’s December, and the number of organizations conducting layoffs keeps growing. It’s been a never-ending cycle of layoffs. Let’s not kid ourselves and assume that everyone is feeling OK about that. Let’s not ignore the mental health elephant in the room, let alone the damage to workplace culture. And let’s also acknowledge that leaders who have conducted any layoffs do not get the benefit of the doubt regarding trust. There’s simply no reason to trust you.

Read more to see what the author predicted then and how much of it is true today.

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