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The Impact On Employees During Redundancy

The redundancy process is one that must be handled with great care and sensitivity.  Your people will have already experienced great change over these last few months whether that be working from home, home schooling, bereavements, furlough, loss of perceived freedoms to name a few. To then be faced with a redundancy situation, although the business need is genuine, for some this is going to be incredibly overwhelming and upsetting.

Not only will these individuals need to be managed from a wellbeing point of view, and more so than even in these already uncertain times, the prospect of a redundancy situation will also increase a feeling of anxiety. As managers of people, you are also going to be faced with the possibility that those employees not at risk of redundancy will more than likely be feeling guilt, discomfort, relief,  or anger, with you and the business.

The individuals that are not placed at risk of redundancy are often referred to as the ‘Survivors’.

It is imperative that as Managers you not only support those exiting your business but also those who will be staying on, turning the business wheel, and therefore engagement is key.

Motivation will be vital! And of course, our favourite word- Communicate!

Open, honest, and concise lines of communication are crucial in this time. Honesty – however uncomfortable or challenging it may be – is what will bring people together. If your people are not informed – or, worse still, misinformed – relationships will quickly break down.

Allowing employees to mentally prepare for what is to come by giving them advance warning; assuring them that communications will be ongoing throughout the process; and taking care to reassure “survivors” of their value to the company once redundancies have been carried out will go far to maintain engaged teams.

Communication is key. A clear plan for the future outlining and acknowledging the changes to teams, structure and processes, that allows your ‘’surviving’’ team members to see where their role fits in will be the building blocks for boosting morale, raising performance and allowing the business to move forward and ultimately ensuring an engaged workforce.

Your employees will want and need clarity; How will the downsizing secure the future prospects and success of the business?

Continue to communicate once those exiting have left, and you have the final downsized team. Keep teams updated with business progress regarding the decision.

If you have an EAP system, encourage it’s use during and after the redundancy process – both groups may benefit from the reminder that these services are available.

You must ensure that you maintain visibility throughout and be available to your teams. Being as approachable and as honest as possible about the future will help to maintain trust and help keep employees engaged.

Conducting redundancies is an unfortunate reality of the situation we now find ourselves in, but handled with sensitivity and care will ensure that the experience for those leaving will be as dignified as possible whilst demonstrating to your remaining teams that you are a business that cares for and values its People.

HR Star can support and partner with you to help guide and assist you through the redundancy process. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are unsure on how or where to start.

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