“Survivor’s guilt” is often associated with car crashes or natural disasters, but it can occur after any traumatic event.
The emotion typically comes when individuals feel remorseful for making it through a tragedy when others did not. In a professional setting, employees may experience survivor’s guilt— and the anxiety that comes with it—after organizational layoffs, furloughs or other shake-ups.
Employers should do everything they can to address these complex emotions among employees following major workplace changes. Failing to do so can result in serious long-term consequences for employees and the organization as a whole.
This article provides a brief overview of how survivor’s guilt can affect a workforce and outlines mitigation steps for employers to take.