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Organizational Survivors Guilt


Survivors guilt is real. Could it be affecting your company’s ROI?


It’s a time of great confusion, chaos and reinvention. Large swaths of stakeholders are being cut from organizations large and small and while accountability is being shifted in the name of agility and hashtag definitions like “pivot” those left behind resemble tornado torn maple trees. Impressed still with the genome of expansion and growth with deep roots but fewer, more sparse and undoubtedly weaker branches.


Let’s face it, in this time of great change organizational dynamics are taking a beating. From layoffs to inappropriate and poor choices,#Toobin, finding an altruistic commitment to one’s company culture to lean into - hell, even remembering the corporate identity that once served as the foundation for an integrity-heavy mission is now part of the mission itself.


When stakeholders who make up the current core of your operations are struggling with the sting of guilt of their very survival in those coveted positions, how and what will they communicate to their teams? What will they communicate to their customers? How will they negotiate with their vendors? What does leadership become for those that had to furlough the workforce infrastucture that carried their organization? What of the gravity of the responsibility now on the few without the precedent and protocol that supported the profit centers and productivity? Layoffs, no matter the reason for them, often damage productivity and morale reducing the potential for the company to ever return to its original luster.


For those left behind, there is no shame in being both undeniably grateful and deeply ambivalent to perform as the trunk of the tree that once swayed with grace and abundant girth.


It is the organization’s role to support and nurture from within. It is through intentional assessment, evaluation, identification, engagement, and optimizing the quality of work life that stakeholders will begin to gain ground in redefining company culture and a new homeostasis in the workplace dynamic.


From individuals and groups to policies and procedures, identifying problems, suggesting and implement solutions designed to improve the well-being and success of the employees and the workplace are integral to a company’s overall profitability. Defining boundaries for remote work, new relationships and interactions cannot be understated in the reinvention of a productive and satisfying workplace. A strong and consistent curriculum of support will reduce behaviors of survivors guilt by way of job cuts, furlough and other Covid-19 related consequences through supportive mindset and culture-speak training and coaching.


Happiness and an altruistic commitment to one’s right work is something we all deserve. When employees feel valued and their work is meaningful it makes everyone more productive. They contribute in ways that serve everyone without hierarchical noise. It carries over into all areas of life and changes the world. I think we all agree, the time for a changed world is NOW. From Google, Apple, and Microsoft to smaller companies like Medela, it is no secret that organizations investing in their stakeholder’s mental and psychological mindsets, experience stronger, happier and more profitable outcomes. People are the lifeblood of an organization’s voice in the world. Survivors guilt is real and when addressed properly becomes the foundation upon which a true gratitude for one’s work and workplace evolves. Set up a free consultation with us at Inspired Action at Work to discuss how we can support your company’s workforce mindset.


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