Layoffs and redundancies are incredibly hard for staff, managers and leadership teams.
Here are nine actions to take to improve company culture, create a new company identity and importantly, reset company performance.
Create new priorities for everyone to follow, and acknowledge that old goals will be hard to hit and old priorities will have to be reshaped.
Ensure prioritisation is set across the company, rolled over cross-functionally and importantly understood and brought into at department and then down to team level and is essentially easy to understand.
Recreate Psychological Safety
When there are layoffs you remove many people’s safety and often you remove their support and professional networks.
Psychological safety has to be reset and you have to communicate how you will ensure the business is going to look at those who are left and why the future is going to be about collaboration and ensuring the teams are in a good place to support each other and you as the business (and business leader) will support them.
New Buddy System
Introduce a new buddy system, you will help many people connect to new colleagues and reconnect to those who they may have had small work projects with.
Help colleagues to connect and support each other. This will take an owner and encouragement from both management and the teams.
Organise Regular Get-Togethers
Sounds obvious but often is not easy, humans have survival baked into them and often look for a leader or an organiser to arrange get-togethers. What most companies have lost is the ability to organise and encourage people to eat together. Ensuring colleagues get around the campfire to eat and discuss will help to reconnect and share moments together.
Remember: Your company culture will need to be rebuilt and new foundations need to be set, this is your opportunity to create a better work environment.
Re-Onboard To The Team And To The Company
What most companies failed to do in the mass return to the office with hybrid working environments is to build a new onboarding to the company, to the “office” and help people remember what the space is for and how to collaborate.
It is important to know your company is now different and will operate differently and how you communicate and reinforce this is key to win.
Ensure you build a new onboarding journey so everyone goes through the same onboarding experience so it is shared and can be discussed as a group, not comparing their onboarding versus someone else.
Acknowledge Who You Were And Who We Are Now And What Identity You Will Be Taking On
There is a new identity you and your business are adopting, this identity is important as your people will need to opt-in and select if they wear the new uniform, adopt the new flag and fight for their refreshed company.
Celebrate A Small Win Quickly
The quickest and smartest way to reconnect with your team is to celebrate small wins and celebrate a relatively trivial win as quickly as possible, this can be people based or can be performance-based.
You should create a new standard of wins and know the team should call out these behaviours and feel empowered to call out and celebrate the wins together. If you are in the position to, create a small budget to reward your team, whether that is a Starbucks card to buy hot drinks together, a small lunch together or individual rewards.
Unfortunately, when there is uncertainty there are rumours and gossip that spreads throughout organisations, this will naturally occur every few days unless you proactively remove the noise and intentionally communicate what is happening, why this is happening and how we are going to win together moving forward.
Create A Decision Document
Help everyone understand how decisions are made and why these decisions were made and what success looks like. This is for the d-team (whether this is the executive team, senior leadership team or c-suite or much wider org) to update and share with colleagues each time there is an important decision made.
Run An Ideation Session
Ideas are often the last thing that department leads think of to reconnect with their team members. New ideas or revisiting old ideas helps to spark new opportunities and provides a framework to move forward collectively.
The art is to collect the ideas and then actually agree to reprioritise all working campaigns and where applicable to include the new ideas.
Co-Create The New Identity Of Your Team Group
Question and create what are three pillars moving forward to help everyone make the right decisions and help to create a high safety, high-performance environment.
Without a new identity for the group to buy into and pillars to guide them you will experience a lot of what it used to be versus what it is now and for the near future.
Remember the past is always going to be the anchor for the team to work from, it is important to readdress this anchoring bias and create a brand new identity to build around.
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