May 03, 2023
Companies Like Disney Can Help Minimize the ‘Hidden Costs of Layoffs,’ Business Coach Says
Disney made a second round of layoffs this week, bringing the total number laid off so far to 4,000, with plans for a further 3,000 cuts.
The company first notified employees of impending layoffs on March 27. The current round is expected to be completed this week, and a third round of layoffs is expected to commence before summer.
AK Ikwuakor, or "Coach AK,” a business and performance coach and former world-ranked track and field athlete, said a layoff can be a difficult and stressful experience, but companies can help minimize the impacts.
“In addition to low morale and decreased loyalty toward the company, layoffs can also lead to a loss of trust and confidence in leadership,” Ikwuakor said. “To minimize the negative impact of layoffs, it's important for managers to handle the situation with empathy and transparency.”
Ikwuakor added companies can support employees amid layoffs by being transparent and providing resources such as financial planning and mental health support.
“As a society, we need to recognize the hidden costs of layoffs and provide support for those who are struggling,” he said. “The anticipation of a layoff can trigger a range of physiological and psychological responses in individuals, leading to stress, reduced productivity, financial insecurity, and social isolation. To minimize the negative impact, it's important for companies to communicate clearly with their employees and provide support resources for those who are struggling."
But layoffs can also be an opportunity for employees to transfer their skills to new fields or roles, Ikwuakor explained.
“For example, a sales professional may have developed strong communication, prospecting, and presentation skills that could be valuable in other careers such as recruiting, teaching, or real estate,” said Ikwuakor. “By thinking creatively and being open to new opportunities, employees can increase their marketability and find fulfilling new careers.”
TMX CONTRIBUTED TO THIS STORY