Managing a Redundancy Programme – It is About Managing Fear
A post from our Human Resources blog
Written by John B
People always seem to forget that there are two sides to the redundancy coin. Being made redundant must be among the worst things that can happen to a person and I would not wish it on anybody.
But few people think of how horrible it must be for the person giving the news. Most people are not heartless and do not enjoy this kind of activity. It then gets intensified should you have to do it to multiple people at the same time. This has got to be the worst possible function that anybody in HR has to perform.
Is there anything that can ease some of the stress and the anxiety? Let's look at some things that can help both the person being made redundant and those having to give the bad news.
1. Focus on the positives
While this seems obvious, it can cause even more pain if done incorrectly. If completed well, it can make things easier for both parties. If you can think of a real example to share, it will not just seem like you are trying to gloss over a difficult conversation. I have a family member that was made redundant from a job that they thought was very secure. With absolutely no thoughts of leaving the company, she probably envisioned getting a few promotions and working there for many years. While the redundancy itself was dreadful and looking for new positions took time, she now runs her own company after learning a new skill. Making more money than she ever would have been able to as an employee, she is now extremely happy and can look at the redundancy as forcing her to make a change that she could not have made on her own.
2. Try to give as many redundancy options as possible
While different countries have varying legal obligations that need to be met, there is nothing to stop you as an HR person doing extra work to make it just a little bit easier. Are there free resources you can refer people to? Do you have that ready? Rather than having to be asked for it, try to provide it as soon as possible. By knowing all redundancy options will enable you to provide a well-rounded service because every piece of information will be known about.
3. Find out what is available
Your company might be offering compensation etc., but have you found out what else might be available? Are there government grants that you can access to provide training which, as a direct result, means that being retrained is very easy? Are your staff involved with a union that can assist with training? See if you can do more than just the basics. That little bit extra that you find might be just what the person needs to get through this difficult time. Perhaps you are able to run some training internally so the option of being retrained is open to staff?
4. Try to do it as quickly as possible
By dragging the process out, the amount of anxiety people will experience rises dramatically. Waiting to hear if a person is to be made redundant can be worse than the actual confirmation that it is you. People's lives almost get put on hold and people do not want to make decisions in this period of uncertainty. Similarly, for those that are not chosen to be made redundant, the anxiety will be over and you can try to move on as much as possible with the remaining staff.
These tips will hopefully enable both parties to better manage fear and anxiety. You may be looking for further suggestions, both as an employer and an employee, so why not look at our site for Redundancy training? Although the courses are also listed on our main site, the second site offers more than just courses. It also provides things that employers can consider before having to make redundancies so that it is a last resort. Perhaps you are considering what types of Redundancy training would benefit the most people? Or perhaps you are being made redundant and want to see what help is available?
Do not be afraid to contact us for any assistance. Everything will be treated with the utmost secrecy.
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