Downsizing Grief Takes Its Toll - Managing Grief in the Workplace

DOWNSIZING GRIEF TAKES ITS TOLL



Pat Werscherl talks about how downsizing affected her and her team, which she considered to be like family. During a large corporate merger and subsequent layoffs, Pat and her team experienced many of the emotions associated with grief. She talks about the denial that the company would actually be sold and the anger she experienced when the sale was completed to finally accepting the changes.

"We went through the grieving process. First there was this denial like well maybe they’d change their mind. Just constant rumors. So you went through the denial, and of course, then there was the anger. “Look what we've contributed to the company for all these years”; Look at the good service we’ve given to them".

The lack of assigned work to focus on each day along with the ongoing changes and many distractions led to lethargy, lost focus, and some serious, costly mistakes. The company did nothing to help their employees constructively deal with the emotions of grief and loss and this made the situation much worse. Effective Grief in the Workplace coaching would have lessened the negative impact to the employees and the company.

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