BlackBerry employees likely feeling 'shell shocked'
An expert in occupational psychology weighs in on BlackBerry's layoff survivors
BlackBerry employees are likely feeling 'shell shocked' with the continued uncertainty surrounding Canada's flagship technology company, which has seen a continued withering of its market share and reputation in the global smartphone market.
The Waterloo-based smartphone maker has cut hundreds of jobs as it tries to pare down its workforce by 4,500 employees and an expert in occupational psychology says that means the layoff survivors are likely feeling anxious.
"They're probably feeling a lot of trepidation wondering what's going to come next," Greg Irving, a professor of occupational psychology and human resource management at the Wilfrid Laurier School of Business and Economics told The Morning Edition host Craig Norris on Thursday.
Irving said layoffs can have a big effect on worker productivity, especially if the employer isn't seen as transparent by its workforce.
"It's critical for the leadership to be accessible and involved," he said. "They have to be visible and prepared to answer employee questions and they have to reassure the survivors that they have a plan and communicate that vision for the company."
"They'll have to pay a lot more attention to rewards and recognitions and making the remaining employees feel valued."
Layoffs create anxiety at work and home
Irving said layoffs don't just create anxiety in the workplace, but also at home, where it's especially important for a laid-off worker to give their family a sense of security.
"Losing your job can certainly cause a significant hit on your self-esteem and it's important not to take the layoff personally, otherwise it can affect your family life," he said.
"I guess the best approach is to accept what you cannot control and take charge of how you respond. It's important to maintain family routines after a layoff to keep the family reassured. You might want to give the family a sense of stability and reassure them this is a temporary situation."
BlackBerry has gone from a once-dominant position in the industry to posting an almost billion-dollar loss in the last quarter.
As a result the company has vowed to focus on its core market of business and government customers, and to find savings — slashing up to a third of its global workforce by mid-2015.