Got Survivor Syndrome? 17 Symptoms and Behaviors That Need Attention

Got Survivor Syndrome? 17 Symptoms and Behaviors That Need Attention

Downsizing, rightsizing, completely wrong sizing, capsizing! What’s going on? The final week of January 2009 started with awful news for the work market place, as around 71,400 extra cuts were introduced on Monday, January 26, by itself. At the very least six corporations from production and support industries declared value-reducing initiatives that included slashing hundreds of work.

As documented by CNN, much more than 200,000 task cuts have been introduced so much this 12 months, in accordance to company experiences. Approximately 2.6 million jobs were missing about 2008, the maximum yearly job-decline complete due to the fact 1945.

Concerned as we are about those who were being laid off, employees who survive a downsizing experience anything at all but aid. More typically than not, they come to feel anxious and betrayed.

The unpleasant inner thoughts triggered by its downsizing – sense of reduction, anxiety, melancholy, distrust and betrayal – usually are not only skilled by downsized personnel. These wrenching emotions are also felt by workers who survived the layoffs! I skilled task elimination twice in my profession and it wasn’t pleasurable! I also recall standing by lots of other situations when my close friends and colleagues misplaced their careers and how I felt on all those dim times and in the months to adhere to.

Speak to any person who has survived and they could say something like this, “Just when we commenced to imagine our positions were safe, they transformed the principles on us. We failed to know who was in cost, who we could rely on or what we ended up meant to be undertaking. The a lot more unsettling it bought, the considerably less successful we grew to become.” Talk about a poisonous operate setting!

A lot of businesses test to manage these powerful emotions by justifying administration choices and downplaying the difficulties in advance. This variety of reaction only fuels doubt, speculation, rumors, and cynicism relatively than determination and generate to transfer ahead.

Numerous executives imagine surviving workers are so relieved to continue to have a position that they eagerly get down to enterprise. Very little if farther from the truth! Typically, any aid felt by employees shortly is overcome by a quantity of disagreeable feelings – ache, guilt, loneliness, melancholy, and career insecurity.

Commonly, the perform of individuals who have still left the corporation is distributed between those people who are remaining – the survivors. Increase this to the bodily and psychological exhaustion that now will come from a “doing far more with significantly less” philosophy that is so widespread now – simply because organizations are superior at downsizing persons than they are at the workload – and you have an business in crisis. You have a place of work environment that is driving staff members and, eventually, success, in the incorrect route.

Why are the desires of survivors getting neglected in the mind-boggling bulk of businesses? “Mainly because there is certainly quite minor recognition that survivors have any wants at all,” suggests Harris Sussman, president of Workways, an organizational consulting company in Cambridge, Mass. “But even if organizations do understand survivors have special requires, there is an unpleasant Catch-22 concerned: Businesses downsize for financial factors, and programs to enable remaining staff value income.”

That may possibly be a good justification, but it truly is a poor purpose, in my feeling. Remember…who’s seriously driving your small business? The folks! If you you should not spend the cash to salvage anything from the wreckage, your workforce will resist any other organizational transform effort and hard work you attempt. Worse however, you’ll in no way get the success that the restructuring was meant to get in the 1st place. “P2P” (people-to-men and women connections) will have to be kicked up a number of notches!

Survivors require emotional aid, considerable communication from management, apparent-lower job descriptions and vocation management help for a downsizing to be profitable. After all, the remaining employees are the only types who can turn the firm all-around to survive and prosper in yrs forward.

If you or an individual you know has any of these indications or demonstrates any of these behaviors, find enable at once!

Signs and symptoms:

  • Insecurity about work
  • Panic of the unidentified
  • Mistrust of administration
  • Unsure/uncertain of capabilities and qualities
  • Absence of loyalty
  • Substantial anxiety levels
  • Reduced self-esteem
  • Emotion extremely dependent on the organization


  • Narrow-minded
  • Not open up to nutritious risk
  • Low efficiency
  • Depressed
  • Elevated absenteeism
  • Lower morale
  • Loss of pleasure in the business
  • Amplified resistance to alter
  • Functions of sabotage

After yet again, it is really all about “P2P” – the people-to-men and women connections that possibly results in a constructive place of work setting that engages staff and encourages efficiency or produces a destructive, harmful atmosphere that does just the opposite. It all boils down to recognizing that survivors have unique requirements. Offering them the emotional assist they ought to have and speaking with them like grown ups is the right factor to do – for them and the corporation as a entire.

A Favourable Workplace Indicates Enterprise! It Just Would make Cent$! ®