Survivor syndrome
Produced in partnership with Beth Pipe of Cumbrian Rambler Ltd
Survivor syndrome

The following Life Sciences guidance note Produced in partnership with Beth Pipe of Cumbrian Rambler Ltd provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Survivor syndrome
  • What is Survivor Syndrome?
  • How might people react?
  • How it affects the organisation
  • What are the causes?
  • What are the remedies at an organisational level?
  • What remedies are there at a local management level?

When any organisation is forced to make a number of redundancies, the attention, quite rightly, is focused on those losing their roles. However, once the dust settles, the focus needs to be on those who survived round of cuts and may be experiencing a wide range of emotions. This Practice Note will guide you how to recognise and manage ‘Survivor Syndrome’ within your team, specifically, we will look at:

  1. what is Survivor Syndrome?

  2. how might different people react

  3. how it affects the organisation

  4. what the causes are

  5. what the remedies are at an organisational level

  6. what the remedies are at a local management level

What is Survivor Syndrome?

Survivor Syndrome identifies the range of negative reactions often experienced by those whose roles remain intact following a round of redundancies. Similar experiences have been described by those surviving a range of traumatic events and though in some people’s eyes, those people who survive a round of redundancies ‘should be grateful for having jobs’, it’s not always that simple and the initial relief can give way to a range of different emotions and challenging behaviours.

The situation is often unintentionally made worse by organisations failing to recognise and manage it appropriately. Large sums of money are often put aside to provide support to those leaving by way of counselling, career workshops and severance