Leaner firms `neglect staff who remain'

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Financial services organisations forced to shed jobs by recession and change are neglecting at their peril the needs of the employees left behind, according to research published today.

The effects on so-called survivors is decreased motivation, morale, confidence and loyalty, as well as increased stress, scepticism, anger and bitterness, leading to a condition known as "Survivor Syndrome", according to the report by the human resourcesspecialists, Working Transitions and Cranfield School of Management's human resource research centre.

The study - believed to be the first of its kind in Britain - predicts other problems for financial services organisations. While 78 per cent of the 131 banks, building socities and insurance companies questioned had made between 2,000 and 12,000 people redundant, nearly half expected further job losses in the next 12 months. Moreover, although 79 per cent of firms questioned provided outplacement support for employees who were leaving, fewer than half offered structured help for the survivors.

Cranfield's Noeleen Doherty, one of the authors of the report in the first issue of People Management magazine, said: "The scale of change is so great that people are shell-shocked. Staff see that the new, leaner ship is more likely to survive, but are unsure if they will remain on board."