Survey: Layoffs Devastate Those 'Left Behind'

A new survey by professional services firm Andersen reveals the devastating effects of corporate layoffs for surviving employees. The survey of 759 working people shows that just over a third (37%) of surviving employees consider management's handling of recent layoffs positive. Much of the discontent centered on how companies communicated the layoffs. Half of the survivors learned of the layoffs via rumors or word-of-mouth, while 10% found out from sources outside the company including the media. Only 43% were notified through official company communication. "Layoffs have a profound impact on a company regardless of how they are handled, but it is extremely dangerous to alienate the employees you want to retain as a result of poor communication," says Michael Lyman, a managing partner for Andersen. "Companies are remiss if they don't keep the need of employees at the forefront during such a disruptive cultural change." Andersen's survey showed evidence of damaged morale following layoffs. Almost half of respondents said morale was lower, while just 34% said management appreciated their value at the company. Only 42% felt support for the remaining staff was adequate.

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