Redundancy isn’t just about job loss – it affects many aspects of people’s lives. The shock of losing certainty, status, purpose and belonging can trigger stress and anxiety. For businesses, it can be one of the most difficult decisions to implement.
While you can’t safeguard jobs in the current climate, you can take measures to protect the people losing them and equip your staff with the right skills to facilitate the process.
Here are our top three tips for how to support your managers in delivering redundancies effectively and empathetically:
1. Reduce uncertainty
Keep your teams up to date with what’s happening, especially those who are going to be involved at the frontline. Have a strategy right from the start to promote transparency and inclusion.
- Communicate clearly to avoid confusion and speculation – no mixed messages
- Tap into the sharp end – redundancies are likely to cause financial worries so give staff access to advice and resources they can share
- Offer emotional support that covers wellbeing and mental health
Keep a balanced approach and be honest about employees’ rights in redundancy situations so that your team can pass on all the facts. Being open shows care and compassion for exiting employees – and will leave a more positive lasting impression.
2. Boost morale – respond, reassure, re-engage
People left behind may feel unsure and uncertain about their own future/roles and shaken by the experience of their friends and colleagues. This is the right time to step up and address the wider psychological impact of downsizing decisions.
You might choose to speak to remaining employees individually and listen to their concerns. Take time to acknowledge and respond to their reactions. This is where transparency about job security matters, as does not making promises you can’t keep.
It’s also a good time to review training for any staff who have had to change their duties to cover redundancies. This wide-angled approach helps to demystify redundancy and instil confidence in remaining staff that you care and that you’re committed to them.
3. Step up the support
Not just for remaining employees but also for the managers who are having to make people redundant and who are also impacted by it. They will need supporting through the process – this could be via an in-house mentor or outplacement.
Treat this as an opportunity to broaden knowledge across management and wider roles. If your team understand the cycle of emotions that redundancy entails, they can tailor support accordingly, making your organisation strong and resilient. This can also be useful when dealing with employees who choose the redundancy process to raise issues that they’ve never previously mentioned.
We can take the stress away with tailored outplacement support services that align with your business, respect your priorities and ease the burden on your staff at such difficult times.
“The support City CV gave to my team and I, at a very difficult time, was invaluable. As a business leader, redundancies have to be one of the hardest situations to be involved in, for all concerned.
City CV’s practical advice and compassionate approach helped my staff feel better prepared for the changes they were facing and more positive about their future prospects.”
Alison Newman, Head of Finance Business Partnering, British Airways
Redundancy may be an ending but it’s also a beginning. Going beyond the immediate process, we’ve put together advice to help newly redundant employees navigate the world of job-hunting. Some may benefit from tailored coaching to identify and define what gives them purpose.
As part of our series of weekly Career Refinery Portal & App webinars, we cover ways to cope with challenging situations, like redundancy. We can also offer vital practical and emotional support to tackle the stress, financial worries and personal/family issues that often arise from redundancy as well as resources to equip management teams to carry out their roles with confidence and empathy.
In addition, our Wellbeing & Mental Health Support Helpline provides a safe space, outside the workplace, where exiting employees can freely discuss concerns with one of our wellbeing coaches.