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Reducing Your Staff? Don’t Wait to Develop Those That Remain.

We are all familiar with today’s work landscape – layoffs, budget worries, economic woes. No question that they are very real challenges facing companies today. Challenges that create vast change in your teams and organizations. It can be painful, sad, and anxiety-inducing. At the center of all this change… is your people.


When actions must be taken, like layoffs, it is awful for those affected. Companies spend a ton of time and resources to ensure folks leave with dignity and hope for new opportunities. But the audience that is sometimes forgotten… are those left behind.


Those that now must pick up the slack, manage two roles instead of one, take over the lead on projects. Often these employees are not trained to take on these new tasks or teams, resulting in stress, frustration and burnout. Your people can become disengaged quickly, going through the motions of work vs. being motivated to be on the team.


With actions like layoffs, it seems logical to say “no” to development opportunities for your staff. I get it, it makes sense when belts are tightened, when teams are reduced. But to say no, is to potentially disengage staff further. In this “post-ish” pandemic world, your people have simple wants – to be appreciated, to feel cared for. In the absence of bonuses and large pay increases, care can take the forms of personal and leadership development.


Maybe it’s group coaching vs. one person, or leadership training in more bite-sized pieces. Maybe it’s self-paced work and monthly meetings on learnings. It’s all about being creative to support your people with the tools they need for success.


Upskilling your employees is more vital than ever. I know, it may be a hard pill to swallow when you must let others go, but the investment in those remaining will help reduce their stress and burnout, which could make them leave as well. Consider the costs of hiring new people today – thousands of dollars, weeks, even months to onboard someone new. Imagine if you took the time and money instead to invest in your employees, both showing that you care and helping the company to move forward.


I know it’s tempting to put all on hold right now, given the scrutiny of dollars today. But don’t wait. Figure out a plan to develop your teams. People will be motivated to face challenges head on when they feel you believe in them.


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