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Healing the Wounds: Overcoming the Trauma of Layoffs and Revitalizing Downsized Organizations Hardcover – August 31, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Recently, as Noer notes, organizations from public to private to nonprofit have "embarked on a frenzy of layoffs." In this outstanding study, a major contribution to business literature, the author maintains that these layoffs have eroded the trust between employees and employers and have created a new managerial paradigm: "Organizations that once saw people as assets to be nurtured and developed began to view those same people as costs to be cut." Noer ( Jobkeeping ) cogently addresses the violation of the old employment covenant of secure, paternalistic rules. Further, he notes, while those who are dismissed are usually offered counseling services, those who remain are left to cope with their anxiety and distress and the dismantled corporation, a process Noer terms "layoff survivor sickness." He also suggests how companies should downsize, stressing the importance of compassion, communication and the acknowledgment of codependency, in which employees derive their self-worth from their role in the organization.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Many books have emphasized self-help for the layoff victims of organizational downsizing but do not talk about the feelings of those who were lucky to keep their jobs. Noer, the vice president of a leadership center, takes a new approach to addressing the needs of both the survivors and the organizations. He suggests that while it is good that organizations provide services for the victims, the layoff process should include help for the survivors, who are often expected to increase productivity without any transition. The book is arranged around examples of the old employee-employment contract, survivors' testimonials, and how companies and individuals can change their working relationships for the new employment order. Noer uses a mix of modern psychology and organizational theory, but the ideas appear fresh and are packaged well. Recommended for all business collections.
- Rebecca A. Smith, Harvard Business Sch. Lib.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 2 edition (August 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470500158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470500156
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,268,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
TO SUMMARIZE CHAPTERS 1 - 6
Why all these negative impacts from lay-offs? Simple, no one took any steps to prepare the personnel for the changes of work and values. The managers who initiated the lay-offs are still stuck in denial themselves - their method of denial is sometimes "When the going gets tough, the tough get mean!" Denial is the main reason that the problems go untreated. Symptoms of denial are Gallows humor, death paradigms or figures of speech, "We have to be strong", "We are only doing what is necessary", "Chainsaw AL", etc.. - anything except a direct reference or description of what is being done. No one should be laughing at actions taken or at the resulting pain.
Basic economic and social changes have resulted in a paradigm shift for the employer - employee relationship. The changes are summarized as:
(OLD PARADIGM) vs *NEW PARADIGM* = (People as assets to be developed) vs * as costs to be reduced* & (Nurturing) vs *Violent* & (Develop) vs *Take out* & (Help) vs *Shoot* & (Grow) vs *Terminate* & (Long term) vs *Short term* & (a carrrer) vs *a job* & (make an employee) vs *buy an employee* & (Synergistic) vs *Reductionist* & (build up) vs *make smaller* & (develop) vs *cut*
[My own comment - It is interesting to note that corporations developed a system of codependency in order to reduce costs and to maintain valuable employees. This has resulted, over a long period of time, in too many employees. We are experiencing a violent "weeding of the garden". This situation may turn around shortly due to the increasing decline in available employees (zero unemployment). The last time society underwent such an upheaval was in Pre WWII Germany.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great book that gives you deeper insight in how layoffs impact your workforce and culture. It also gives great cues to deal with it or even prepare your people for another era which is much more volatile.
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Format: Hardcover
Most books dealing with human resource issues are predictably detached and devoid of emotional consideration for employees. Leadership consultant David M. Noer's refreshing study takes the opposite approach. He boldly issues a warning that the current global wave of downsizing has created a traumatic "layoff survivor sickness," which employees can cure only by forging a new relationship with their employers. Although large corporations and top executives may have caused the 2008-2009 recession, lower-level employees shouldered much of the burden. That makes this report particularly timely. Looking ahead, Noer advocates a new employer-employee relationship that will empower employees and break their unhealthy codependency with their employers. This unsettling idea is a byproduct of the global, on-demand economy. getAbstract finds Noer's book refreshingly insightful and clearly written, and recommends it to aware, forward-thinking employees, ex-employees, executives and human resource professionals.
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