Downsizing Your Team

Team Building Question:

Our office has recently learned that about 20 percent of our staff will be losing their jobs in the next couple of months due to a relocation set down from our corporate office. Some open positions in my area are being posted for those losing their jobs. The morale in the workplace is really down right now, plus we are dealing with some disciplinary issues. I would be very open to any suggestions as to how to make this a smooth transition and boost morale.

The Team Doc Says:

There is very little you can do to control how people feel about this situation. And the survivors will probably feel the worst.

That said, there may be legal issues that must remain quiet, but now is the time for as much communication as possible. Even if the answer is "I don't know" or "For legal reasons I can't tell you that." Have regular get togethers with your team to talk about what is going on.

You'll be able to tell whether you are communicating enough by listening to the noise level at your company. Is the rumor mill really loud or just a soft murmur? The louder the rumor mill, the more you need to communicate to quiet it down.

Denise O'Berry (aka 'Team Doc') provides tools, tips and advice to help organizations build better teams. Find out more at

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