How do you implement redundancies?

By: Annabel Kaye

Date: 4 August 2009

It is hard work building an employer brand. Like any reputation it takes years to build and moments to damage.

Talking to individuals who are being made redundant by some well known organisations it is staggering to see how they are being treated in personal terms. Whilst it is never nice to be dismissed, or to be told you are not wanted anymore, some of the thoughtless cruelties, lack of information or clarity begin to beggar belief.These individuals – often highly successful – remember the treatment they have been subject to and years later will be talking about it. 

‘Good’ redundancy exercises don’t cost any more to implement than poor ones. They don’t take any longer (though sometimes the thinking time is longer). They are characterised by clear communication, clear processes, and consideration for individuals affected (whether going or staying).  

If you are restructuring to survive this recession and grow; consider how your methods will affect your ability to grow when you get to that point. If your workforce don’t trust you and don’t believe what you say they will leave as soon as a better opportunity presents itself. The real problem is not that HR or even senior managers don’t know this, but when we are in an ‘emergency’ a lot of this gets left to one side. The real winners are organisations who know what is important and what is urgent and plan to incorporate both. That means not only looking at what you do (and how much it costs) but at how you do it, how you communicate it and the messages this gives. This is not about legal compliance, or compromise agreements or headcounts, budgets and ratios, it is about letting your entire workforce know what your people values really are.

“What you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you say”……………

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