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Proof that downsizing really does affect morale…

Submitted by on Tuesday, 20 October 2009No Comment

If your company is in the midst of downsizing in Thailand, then you may want to consider the implications of a study which has been recently completed into the effect on employee morale (or ‘thriving’) when companies downsize.

employee morale thailand

Compiled by Gallup after a series of interviews in over 100 countries over 2 years, the findings show that companies which are going through downsizing need to pay attention to the impact this has on existing staff.

This impact does not only affect those being laid off but also, crucially, those still in the company. In fact, the impact is almost always greateramong the latter group!

How you can ‘beat the blues’

When you are restructuring you need to be sure that you account for the long-term impact on the ‘intangibles’ in your business as well as the immediate financial saving.

The greatest intangible a company has is its people. The kind of impact on morale described in Gallup’s survey (where the difference in morale among the people in a company that is growing and one that is downsizing is nearly double) can have a significant effect on the company’s productivity.

This is why it’s vital to have a strong outplacement programme in place if your company restructures. The programme should include not only the outplacees themelves, but also those within the company whose morale inevitably takes a hit.

We have already looked at some of the components of such a programme generally. In terms of the features a programme can include for those people still in the company, we recommend the following questions are addressed:

  • New teams. Will the restructuring create new teams or working relationships? If so, a ‘boot up’ session is essential so that the new team members can build trust and understanding, formulate their roles and responsibilities and articulate their team vision and goals arising from that.

In this case you may be interested in our Five Star Team Development programme.

  • New processes. Does the restructuring create new processes. If so we need to share that visually and tangibly, clearly understanding how this effects expectations in relation to our work.
  • New customers. In some cases a restructuring may cause a realignment of the type of customers a company has. In this case, it is vital that team members understand the value propostions being offered, as well as the profiles of key segments (or even the customers themselves). Our Customer Experience Maximisation programme is a great way to orient your team around new clientele.

As numerous experiences with restructuring have shown, the worst thing is to do nothing at all. In order to reassure remaining team members, refocusing on the goals at hand is essential if the company does not want to suffer from months of underperformance caused by fear and low morale.

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Talent Technologies helps companies grow morale through our imaginative team development programmes offered in Thailand and South-East Asia.

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