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Reorganization Best Practices

Best way to retain employees who add value

As an employer, it’s important to remember that when you do a reorganization or layoff you may intend to keep your best people, however, they’re often left feeling overworked, guilty for not being let go (survivor remorse), or resentful. The intent may be to level up your talent or “right size” when in essence you will create a burnout culture where you will need to replace those who have decided to move on despite being spared in the layoff.

Here are some of the things you can do to prevent negative fallout from reorganization:

1) Speak with those who truly understand the employee’s pain points. It’s likely a leader within your organization, whether they hold the title or not. Ask them where they need more support, and what areas they feel are getting too much attention with little ROI.

2) Then, you can start strategizing where to make cuts. Determining who to lay off based on the highest paid salaries is not a good long-term strategy. Time and time again I’ve seen companies backtrack and ask an employee to come back because they didn’t realize the amount of knowledge and historical data that person held. Most say no, and those that do come back typically ask for a huge bump in compensation. Realize their significance before you create resentment with them and all those who count on them to get their jobs done successfully.

3) Be as transparent as possible. Don’t make promises you can’t or don’t plan to keep (promotions, a raise “next year”). Don’t sugarcoat-admit it’s difficult and acknowledge your gratitude for them and their work.

4) Give some grace – this is not the time to come down harder on those who remain. Encourage them to speak up, allow them to vent, and don’t hold what they may say in times of frustration against them long term.

5) Show them there is a path of continued growth available to them, whether a promotion or training and mentorship opportunities. Let them know why you value them on your team and that their personal growth is important to you.

Recruitment and retention of your top employees goes beyond the task of simply managing your labor budget.

Your customers and your colleagues depend on them and see them as an extension of your business. Treat them accordingly.

Need tips on creating attractive job offers? Check out our recent article Evaluate the Entirety of Your Job Offer.