Healing the Wounds: Overcoming the Trauma of Layoffs and Revitalizing Downsized Organizations

Overview

What are the lingering effects of layoffs? How can managers keep business on track while initiating healing? David Noer has studied the effects of layoffs on survivors and the organizations that employ them. In this pioneering book he tackles what may be the most complex organizational issue since the industrial revolution: the fundamental and irrevocable shift in the psychological contract between employee and organization. Based on case studies and original research, Healing the Wounds provides executives, ...
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Overview

What are the lingering effects of layoffs? How can managers keep business on track while initiating healing? David Noer has studied the effects of layoffs on survivors and the organizations that employ them. In this pioneering book he tackles what may be the most complex organizational issue since the industrial revolution: the fundamental and irrevocable shift in the psychological contract between employee and organization. Based on case studies and original research, Healing the Wounds provides executives, human resource professionals, managers, and consultants with an original model and clear guidelines for revitalizing a downsized organization. The book also offers layoff survivors specific coping mechanisms to understand and transcend the toxic effects of the experience. Noer shows how to recognize normal but emotionally crippling symptoms of survivor sickness; build intervention models that empower both survivors and organizations; restore energy, productivity, and risk taking in a downsized environment; explore employee contracts that reflect the new employment relationship; and plan for and conduct layoffs in the contemporary organization's new reality.

Provides executives, human resource professionals, managers, and consultants with an original model and clear guidelines for revitalizing a downsized organization.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Recently, as Noer notes, organizations from public to private to nonprofit have ``embarked on a frenzy of layoffs.'' In this outstanding study, a major contribution to business literature, the author maintains that these layoffs have eroded the trust between employees and employers and have created a new managerial paradigm: ``Organizations that once saw people as assets to be nurtured and developed began to view those same people as costs to be cut.'' Noer ( Jobkeeping ) cogently addresses the violation of the old employment covenant of secure, paternalistic rules. Further, he notes, while those who are dismissed are usually offered counseling services, those who remain are left to cope with their anxiety and distress and the dismantled corporation, a process Noer terms ``layoff survivor sickness.'' He also suggests how companies should downsize, stressing the importance of compassion, communication and the acknowledgment of codependency, in which employees derive their self-worth from their role in the organization. (Oct. )
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470500156
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/31/2009
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 651,378
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David M. Noer is vice president for training and education for the Center for Creative Leadership. He has consulted extensively both in the United States and abroad, and he is the author of Multinational People Management (1975), How to Beat the Employment Game (1975), and Jobkeeping (1976).
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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
The Author
Pt. 1 The Shattered Covenant
1 Forgotten Survivors: What Happens to Those Who Are Left Behind 3
2 Changing Organizations and the End of Job Security 15
Pt. 2 The Survivor Experience
3 Learning from the Past: The Survivor Syndrome Across Time 33
4 Speaking for Themselves: Layoff Survivor Stories 52
5 Time Does Not Heal All Wounds: The Effects of Long-Term Survivor Sickness 71
Pt. 3 Interventions for Healthy Survival
6 A Four-Level Process for Handling Layoffs and Their Effects 87
7 Level One: Manage the Layoff Processes 95
8 Level Two: Facilitate the Necessary Grieving 118
9 Level Three: Break the Codependency Chain and Empower People 134
10 Level Four: Build a New Employment Relationship 156
Pt. 4 The Great Wake-Up Call
11 The Rebirth of Meaning and Direction: Leading the New Organization 189
12 Life After Downsizing: Revitalizing Ourselves and Our Organizations 210
Appendix A: The Survivor Groups 218
Appendix B: The Human Resource Study 220
References 235
Index 241
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