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Managing productivity through times of uncertainty with customized learning programs

During times of uncertainty, leaders should focus on supporting individuals to process change, foster connections and drive efficiency.

Young happy team collaborating around a table. Two of them are high-fiving.Young happy team collaborating around a table. Two of them are high-fiving.

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Insights from Ellen Raim, Founder of People MatterWe focus more on solving than preventing People problems.

Organizations across the globe are adapting to rapid changes coming from economic uncertainty. At times, that uncertainty results in layoffs, hiring freezes and restructuring. And, despite the turmoil, business goals still need to be met. 

During times of uncertainty, leaders should focus on supporting individuals to process change, foster connections and drive efficiency. Likewise, people managers need training during times of uncertainty to help and support their teams as they process the culture changes and drive the business forward.

Build a high-performance culture without burnout

Building stronger Teams: Nurturing relationships post-RIF

If uncertainty results in a layoff at your organization, you must equip your managers to lead the charge immediately. As the first line of defense, managers play a significant role in setting the tone for the organization. To effectively and compassionately lead their teams, managers require strategies to support their teams while driving organizational accountability. 

During the period immediately after a layoff, your managers will need training on these topics:

Creating post-RIF opportunities for collaboration + connection

For team members, mental health should be a top priority during periods of uncertainty, such as workforce reductions. The emotional toll of a reduction in workforce (RIF), including survivors' guilt and uncertainty, can be overwhelming, resulting in an increased risk of burnout.

To support individual contributors (ICs) during times of uncertainty, provide strategies to practice self-care. By fostering a culture that encourages self-care, organizations can help mitigate the negative impact on mental health and promote wellbeing within their teams.

During times of uncertainty, your individual contributors will need training on these topics:

  • Self care during uncertain times
  • Wellbeing

Boosting teamwork + retention after a RIF

Once you’ve addressed the immediate needs, the personal development focus should switch to boosting teamwork and retention through relationship-building efforts.

Establishing a conducive environment for collaboration is crucial to address challenges that stem from uncertainty. While manager connections are essential, team connections are equally meaningful in fostering engagement. Leaders should be encouraged to create opportunities for connection within their organizations, ensuring that team members can forge and maintain meaningful relationships that contribute to a thriving and cohesive work environment.

During the first 60 days after a RIF, personal development focusing on collaboration is critical for long-term success. “Fun” classes that let people learn something new together can be perfect during this period. Examples include:

  • Origami
  • Magic
  • Poetry

Once your organization has created the mental capacity and safety to allow for connection, consider adding corporate training that offers strategies for productivity and efficacy. Look for classes on topics like:

  • How to be organized and productive
  • Leading effective meetings
  • Using AI to boost productivity

Fostering resilience + collaboration in the post-RIF period

After a RIF, organizations must prioritize rebuilding and strengthening relationships among managers and individual contributors. By actively creating opportunities for collaboration and connection, leaders can play a crucial role in ensuring a smooth transition and minimizing the negative impact of the RIF on team dynamics. 

Build a high-performance culture that is resilient

Create your high-performance culture.

Welcome to the new era of team development — where shared ideas and language lift engagement, connections and productivity to new heights.

With programs like our High-Performance Culture Training, we’re bringing modern L&D within your reach.

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