The paper 'The Process of Layoff' is a perfect example of a management assignment. Layoffs have become a reality of today’ s business organizations. As highlighted by Conaty, most managers spend a lot of time managing the process of layoff as opposed to directing enough attention to the surviving talents is therefore important for managers to focus on motivating employees who survive a layoff. One of the reasons why it is important for managers to focus on motivating employees who survive a layoff is that such employees often have confused emotions that leave them wrestling with changes that are brought about by the restructuring/reorganization.
As highlighted by Robbins (1999), when a manager undertakes the layoff process, a paradox of conflicting loyalty stirs within the employees. Previous loyalty feelings to the organization now conflict with loyalty to oneself. They begin to question their earlier work effort as they go on worrying about whether they really have a future within their current organization. They experience stress and discouragement while trying to stay positive amidst worries that they could be in the next round of dismissal. Another reason for motivating employees who survive a layoff is for them to remain productive.
According to Conaty (2012), when a manager is ready to make cuts in the workforce, he should always adopt strategies that can motivate the remaining employees in order to make them productive. In order to motivate surviving employees Canoty (2012) suggest strategies such as financial rewards, intrinsic motivation such as appreciating the good work of employees even during tough financial times, giving them time off, and celebrating performance. Motivating employees who survive a layoff is also significant in ensuring that employees still feel worthwhile and appreciated.
After layoffs, employees develop a sense of fear that they may still be played off in the future. It is therefore important for managers to motivate their surviving employees in order for them to feel worthwhile and appreciated. Canoty (2012) suggests that in order to ensure that the remaining group does not develop fear regarding their future in the organization or “ when the next shoe will drop” , managers should work towards making the employees feel appreciated by adopting a powerful form of employee recognition and appreciation. Harder, (1991) highlight that the equity and expectancy theory of motivation make distinct predictions under the conditions of perceived/alleged under reward coupled with strong performance outcome expectancies.
According to Adams (1965), equity theory proposes fairness in the context of social relationships that takes place when resources, rewards, and punishments are distributed according to the proportion of an employee’ s contributions or inputs. As a result employees normally seek to preserve equity between the inputs that they bring into the organization and the outcomes which they obtain from it, alongside the inputs and outcomes brought by others (Silva, 2009). Conaty’ s advice can be argued as consistent with the equity theory in the sense that he argues that employees often judge their employers by how fairly they are treated especially during difficult times.
Conaty argues that as grave as the situation may seem, employers ought to consider going deeper than they can on grave situations such as those involving staff reductions. He argues therefore that in such situations, what the employer ought to do before making any decision is to deal empathetically with the victims, financially as well as emotionally in order to provide them with a soft landing as possible (Conaty, 2012).
Conaty, B, 2012, How Should Managers Handle Tough Employment Decisions?
Harder, J.W, 1991, Equity theory versus expectancy theory: The case of major league baseball free agents, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 76(3),Pp 458-464
Nelson, B & Spitzer, D.R, 2003, The 1001 Rewards & Recognition Fieldbook: The Complete Guide, Workman Publishing.
Robbins, S.P, 1999, Layoff-Survivor Sickness: A Missing Topic in Organizational Behaviour, Journal of Management Education, Vol. 23 no. 1 Pp 31-43
Silva, S, 2009, Motivation Theories - Understanding the Expectancy and Equity Theories of Motivation, Retrieved on September 12, 2012 from
Tsaia, P.C, Yenb, Y, Huang, L & Huang,I,2007,A study on Motivating Employees’ Learning Commitment in the Post-Downsizing Era: Job Satisfaction Perspective, Journal of World Business, Volume 42, Issue 2, Pp 157–169