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Supporting redundancy survivors

Author: Neil Rankin and Dr Amelia Wise


  • "Survivor syndrome" is an emotional reaction to redundancies experienced by those who remain with the organisation. As it can have a significant impact on their work performance, it can have negative consequences for the employer. (See The importance of supporting redundancy survivors)
  • Incidences of survivor syndrome can be reduced if employers ensure that they manage redundancies fairly and objectively, and keep survivors informed about the progress of the redundancy programme and what they are doing to support redundant employees. (See Effective communication about the redundancy programme)
  • The redundancy programme may lead to a period of reorganisation. The employer should involve redundancy survivors in making plans for its future. (See Involving redundancy survivors in the restructure)
  • The employer should acknowledge that redundancy survivors may be experiencing a period of uncertainty and upheaval and give them credit for their role in the reorganisation. (See Acknowledging redundancy survivors)
  • Giving redundancy survivors emotional support should help to reduce any adverse reactions to the redundancy programme, and is likely to minimise the risk of negative consequences for the organisation. (See Emotional support)
  • Practical support can help redundancy survivors to cope with new duties or an increase in their workload. (See Support with adjusting to new duties)
  • Line managers play an important role in supporting redundancy survivors, and training can help them to acquire the skills to support employees during the transitional period. (See Line managers)