As we start to see the world edge towards the “new normal” the likelihood is that some companies will start to make difficult decisions about job losses and redundancies. The news is already awash with companies announcing store closures and job losses. Anyone involved in HR or Management is more familiar with the importance of the employee life cycle and this should include the end of that journey too. How you treat your employee at the end of their tenure is as critical as the on-boarding process both to the reputation of the business and in terms of supporting the employee.
What to do when Redundancy Strikes
Clear messaging is imperative – be honest in these situations. People need to understand what the steps are and what the outcomes might be. The message has to be consistent to minimise impact on the individual; and the how the message is communicated to the outside world should also be considered. You may consider sending out a press release to ensure you remain in control. We have all seen the reputational damage that can be caused if these things are not handled in the right way.
Choose the right time and a place
Ensure you choose the right time to make announcements; the people impacted should be the first to know. People will react in different ways from feeling hurt and rejected through to a sense of relief. Consider how you are going to break the news; in COvid19 times it may not be possible to do the meetings face to face so planning is key. Be open to having more than one discussion, some people will take it harder than others or may have more questions. If you can do the meetings face to face then choose somewhere you can have a confidential conversation.
Be empathetic and supportive
Be supportive; understand that is can be hard news to hear. How people feel during this process will impact on how quickly they can move on from redundancy and secure a new position. It will also impact on those team members that are staying. Have organisations to sign post to. Provide redundancy support or outplacement where possible. Care about the person as they leave, I often say that a bad redundancy process is like a bad divorce – too many people let the feelings linger after redundancy. Be clear that it is not personal; you want to be viewed as an employer of choice.
Louise Lapish has worked as a Coach in the outplacement and redundancy support area for almost 20 years. She has supported thousands of people to secure their career goals. Her passion for identifying talent and career strategies can be read about in her 5-star reviewed book “The Seven Steps to Career Consciousness”.
Her passion for Human Capital is evident. She holds a position as Chair of the Trustees for Simon on the Streets, a Yorkshire based homeless charity, where she is still actively involved with leading and motivating the teams as well as setting strategic organisational objectives and has the CEO reporting into her.