Rx for Layoff Survivor Sickness

Five strategies for church leaders to rebuild morale after layoffs.

Organizations of all kinds are experiencing a wrenching pandemic of layoffs that is redefining effective leadership and employee notions of motivation, loyalty and commitment.

The psychological employment contract is evolving from one that viewed people as long-term assets to be nurtured and developed to one that sees people as short-term costs to be managed and often cut. Churches are not exempt from this paradigmatic shift.

The employees who lose their jobs aren't the only ones who suffer when an organization lays off staff. Workers who remain in the workplace experience what I call "layoff survivor sickness," which is characterized by anger, fear and anxiety.

A leader's job is to rebuild a team decimated by layoffs. Here are five tips to help facilitate this transition.

1. Brush up on helping skills; lighten up on controlling behavior. Don't be afraid of feelings and emotions; they are the currency of the realm for helping survivors. Telling survivors to "suck it up" or that they're lucky ...

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