Re-org agony

Apr 17 2009 by Derek Torres Print This Article

Everyone seems to have has a take on layoffs these days; do a quick search online, there's no shortage of articles on layoffs, surviving layoffs, picking up after job loss, etc. Will it ever end?

Then I came across an article that struck a particular nerve with me – waiting in limbo. I can say, hand on heart, that there are few more unpleasant moments in one's career than having to wait out a re-org.

The company where I'm currently working, which shall remain nameless, recently executed a re-organization. In my case, we knew that one of the four members of our team was going to get the axe. Of course, we didn't know how or when – and we didn't learn until almost a month later. Such conditions and situations are simply unacceptable; it's psychological torture at worst and a mind **** at best. And management know this.

We are adults, we are big boys and girls, especially those who have been working for a while or who have already gone through a layoff. We lose a job; we get back up, dust off and eventually find another job. We accept that by working in the private sector, the possibility of us losing our jobs due to outside forces is a legitimate, and real, risk.

Keeping workers in limbo prevents them from getting their own affairs in order and has a big impact on both their work performance and their private lives. Companies shouldn't think for a moment that once a team knows who is in and who is out, that the team will go back to firing on all cylinders the next day.

In such situations, companies would do better to wait until decisions have been made up top before letting employees know about impending changes. Having been on both sides of the situation, it seems that pulling off the bandage quickly hurts more at first – but only for a very short period of time.