5 Ways You Can Make A Positive Impact On A Redundancy
Making a position redundant has never been easy, or pleasant, but going through it, without support, is even worse. Many people also still think of redundancy as a taboo subject and something to be embarrassed about, but employers have a way of changing that.
Although that stigma seems to be dissipating recently; the sheer amount of redundancies we're seeing (and will be seeing) in 2020 will at least, hopefully, go some way to normalising redundancy to a point where no one is ostracised for going through it.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference now.
Regardless of the reasons you are making a position redundant, it can be a stressful time for managers and employees and there are ways you can reduce the negativity and make a positive impact on the person leaving.
Treat your employees with respect and honesty, if there is even the slightest possibility that redundancies will be made:
- Either stop, or explain, any spending that could be seen as frivolous, especially if the redundancies are due to ‘cost-cutting’.
- Be honest and never make promises you can't keep
- Don't lie about the reasons behind the redundancies.
An open and matter-of-fact approach will be more responsible, build trust with the remaining employees and make it easier on the people leaving.
If you are going to have to make a position redundant, don't deliver the news if you aren't trained on how to give it properly. If you don't have an HR rep who is fully trained, send someone on a course before you start making the redundancies. The person or people who's job is being made redundant will have questions and want advice so whomever takes them through the process should know the answers and how to help support them properly.
From personal experience I can tell you, it is no comfort to have a manager with no experience deliver this kind of news and then not be able to answer a single question on the process or options.
Don't start the process if you don't have an official procedure in place. It’s important that you;
- Take notes and share them,
- Follow the procedure,
- Prepare aftercare and support,
- Understand how appeals work,
- Get professional advice.
If it's something you don't think you can handle in-house, use an outsourced HR specialist to help you write a procedure up and prepare properly. This will not only make it easier on you, but will ensure an informed and complete experience for the person/people leaving, not to mention ensure nothing important is missed out or handled wrong.
If you are line managing someone going through redundancy, but are not part of the process, don’t take that as a reason not to get involved yourself, aim to be properly prepared to support them through it.
It doesn't matter how many times you tell them "it's not personal" an employee will most likely be feeling undervalued and helpless. Show your support in a valuable and constructive way by regularly checking in with them, organising social events for goodbye's (even virtual ones are better than nothing), practising active listening and reminding them of any counselling or careers services your company offer.
Don’t be afraid to ask them how you can help and encourage your team to be empathetic and not cause anyone embarrassment.
Be the kind of employer that an ex-employee would still recommend as good to work for by investing in the aftercare of your employee once the final redundancy decision has been made.
- Conduct exit interviews to get honest feedback on how the redundancy process has been delivered, plus any other feedback they have, and make sure you follow it up with an email to let them know how you've implemented their feedback, even if it is weeks later.
- Set them up a LinkedIn account with a month's paid subscription to help them find a job and build a network.
- You and your colleagues can write them recommendations for their LinkedIn page.
- Record a testimonial video, or write one, for them to send to recruiters.
- Introduce them to your contacts and recruitment agencies in the industry and give them a shoutout on LinkedIn.
- Give them resources, weblinks and leaflets for charities and government initiatives that can help and support them.
- Allow them time, during their notice period, to attend job interviews during normal working hours or do some extra training.
Overall, you want to ensure that anyone going through redundancy is shown genuine care and respect throughout the process. Not only is this polite and kind thing to do, it will have a lasting positive impression on that employee and make them more likely to stay an advocate of your brand.
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