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This is the weekly Careers newsletter.

Déjà Leonard is a copywriter and freelance journalist based in Calgary.

Layoffs are hitting North American technology companies, with giants including Alphabet, Spotify, Microsoft and Amazon recently eliminating hundreds to thousands of jobs.

While the headlines often focus on the layoffs, the loss also leaves a large number of employees who didn’t get cut in a tough position – likely grateful to still have a job, but dealing with the effects of being one of the people who stayed.

A study by Leadership IQ, a U.S.-based leadership training and employee engagement survey firm, which was done in 2008 during the Great Recession when unemployment in the United States peaked at 10 per cent, shows some interesting data about how these employees may be feeling now.

The study found that productivity declined for nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) of the employees retained after a layoff. Interestingly, Almost seven in 10 (69 per cent) said the quality of their company’s product or service declined after the layoffs. This may speak to there being fewer people to do more work, or that general morale and belief in the company vision were on the decline.

That said, it’s clear that the workers who stay – the survivors – are also affected. On top of the challenges they are dealing with internally, there is evidence they will also be feeling “survivors guilt” and feel powerless in helping those who are no longer with the company.

Here are four ways to help your ex-colleagues find a way forward:

  • Write LinkedIn recommendations: Writing a thoughtful LinkedIn recommendation for someone is a simple way you can show you care. It can also have a tangible impact on their job search. It helps to build strong social proof that the person is a good hire, and 70 per cent of people will trust a recommendation even if it doesn’t come from someone they know.
  • Contribute to public job lists: It’s a lot of work to search for relevant jobs, even more so when you’re feeling low. Many companies and individuals have already created spreadsheets with job openings so that it’s easier for those who were laid off to start to apply for new jobs. For example, here’s one that is specifically for game companies that are hiring. Consider contributing to one of these and referring people if you have connections.
  • Offer up your skills: Think about the skills you use every day at work, or that you’ve been building on the side. Maybe you can proofread a résumé, design a website or even help someone create a new budget that they can follow while they are out of work.
  • Provide emotional support: It can be hard to know what to say or do when someone else is going through a painful experience. First, read about the five stages of grief. This will give you a better understanding of what your former co-workers – and probably yourself as well to some extent – are experiencing. Then, see how you can support them accordingly through the process.

What I’m reading around the web

  • This BBC article asks a compelling question: Is burnout finally “high-profile” enough for leaders to act? Reports of burnout have surged during the past few years, but generally it’s failed to be addressed. Read how high-profile accounts of burnout may cause more business leaders to take action.
  • If you’ve missed Zellers, you’ll be happy to hear that Hudson’s Bay Co. is planning to open 25 Zellers stores in seven provinces. The store will be located within existing Hudson’s Bay stores, and will also have an e-commerce site.
  • Having difficult conversations at work can be awkward, especially if it’s about conflict between employees or teams, or even when someone if underperforming. Harvard Business Review shares a five-step process called “framing” that can help you surface and tackle hard topics.
  • Many people will be looking for new jobs this year, and that means many people will face rejections in some form – and it hurts. Watch this Ted-Ed, or read the transcript, to get a better understanding of why we respond so deeply to rejection, and how you can cope with this unique type of pain.

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