Got Survivor Syndrome? 17 Symptoms and Behaviors That Need Attention

Downsizing, rightsizing, improper sizing, capsizing! What is occurring on? The final week of January 2009 began with horrible data for the job market, as over 71,400 additional cuts had been launched on Monday, January 26, alone. No lower than six companies from manufacturing and restore industries launched cost-cutting initiatives that included slashing 1000’s of jobs.

As reported by CNN, better than 200,000 job cuts have been launched so far this yr, in line with agency research. Almost 2.6 million jobs had been misplaced over 2008, the perfect yearly job-loss entire since 1945.

Involved as we’re about those who had been laid off, staff who survive a downsizing actually really feel one thing nevertheless discount. Most of the time, they actually really feel anxious and betrayed.

The painful feelings introduced on by its downsizing – sense of loss, concern, melancholy, mistrust and betrayal – aren’t solely expert by downsized workers. These wrenching emotions are moreover felt by staff who survived the layoffs! I expert job elimination twice in my career and it wasn’t pleasant! I moreover take note standing by many various events when my buddies and colleagues misplaced their jobs and the best way I felt on these darkish days and inside the months to adjust to.

Discuss to anyone who has survived they often may say one factor like this, “Simply once we started to assume our jobs had been protected, they modified the principles on us. We did not know who was in cost, who we might belief or what we had been purported to be doing. The extra unsettling it obtained, the much less productive we grew to become.” Discuss a toxic work environment!

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Many employers try to deal with these extremely efficient emotions by justifying administration selections and downplaying the challenges ahead. This type of response solely fuels doubt, speculation, rumors, and cynicism comparatively than dedication and drive to maneuver ahead.

Many executives assume surviving staff are so relieved to nonetheless have a job that they eagerly get all the best way right down to enterprise. Nothing if farther from the fact! Usually, any discount felt by staff rapidly is overwhelmed by varied unpleasant emotions – ache, guilt, loneliness, melancholy, and job insecurity.

Sometimes, the work of those who have left the company is distributed amongst these which can be left – the survivors. Add this to the bodily and psychological exhaustion that already comes from a “doing extra with much less” philosophy that is so prevalent as we converse – on account of companies are larger at downsizing people than they’re on the workload – and you’ve got acquired an organization in catastrophe. You’ve gotten a workplace environment that is driving staff and, in the long run, outcomes, inside the improper path.

Why are the needs of survivors being uncared for inside the overwhelming majority of organizations? “As a result of there’s little or no recognition that survivors have any wants in any respect,” says Harris Sussman, president of Workways, an organizational consulting company in Cambridge, Mass. “However even when firms do acknowledge survivors have particular wants, there’s an unsightly Catch-22 concerned: Firms downsize for financial causes, and packages to assist remaining workers value cash.”

Which could also be an excellent excuse, nonetheless it is a poor motive, in my opinion. Keep in thoughts…who’s really driving your enterprise? The people! When you don’t spend the money to salvage one factor from the wreckage, your staff will resist another organizational change effort you strive. Worse however, you’ll in no way get the outcomes that the restructuring was meant to get inside the first place. “P2P” (people-to-people connections) must be kicked up a few notches!

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Survivors need emotional help, in depth communication from administration, clear-cut job descriptions and career administration assist for a downsizing to attain success. In spite of every part, the remaining staff are the solely ones who can flip the company spherical to survive and thrive in years ahead.

When you or any person you notice has any of these indicators or demonstrates any of these behaviors, search help at once!


  • Insecurity about job
  • Concern of the unknown
  • Distrust of administration
  • Unsure/unsure of experience and abilities
  • Lack of loyalty
  • Excessive stress ranges
  • Low shallowness
  • Feeling overly relying on the group


  • Slender-minded
  • Not open to healthful risk
  • Low productiveness
  • Depressed
  • (*17*) absenteeism
  • Low morale
  • Lack of satisfaction inside the group
  • (*17*) resistance to change
  • Acts of sabotage

As quickly as as soon as extra, it’s all about “P2P” – the people-to-people connections that each creates a optimistic workplace environment that engages staff and encourages productiveness or creates a harmful, toxic environment that does merely the choice. All of it boils all the best way right down to recognizing that survivors have explicit needs. Giving them the emotional help they deserve and talking with them like adults is the suitable issue to do – for them and the group as a whole.

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