At a time of economic downturn, an increase in the unemployment rate is expected to reach around 5% in the next 12 months in New Zealand. As an employer, you may be faced with the unenviable task of making some of your employees redundant.
Making an employee redundant is never easy, but it can be more manageable if you follow the right steps. adversary
Here are our Top 10 tips for considering Redundancy and Restructure in your business.
- Be clear and communicate your reasons effectively. Make sure the message you share with your employees is as clear and consistent as possible.
- Prepare to answer questions. Think about the questions you may be asked and prepare a response that is clear and succinct. If needed defer while you gather information to be able to answer with facts, rather than give misinformation on the spot.
- Listen. Try not to talk too much when employees are giving their input. It’s better to listen to their concerns and answer them effectively.
- Avoid leaks. Consider who gets what information, when, throughout the process, before breaking the news that redundancies will be made. Avoiding unnecessary stress.
- Provide a clear end date. Giving a firm end date will make it easier for them to move on and start looking for a new job. Be very clear if that date moves.
- Share resources that can help your employees. Might help them feel less alone and anxious about being made redundant.
- Don’t make your employees keep it a secret. Secrets isolate redundant employees further, as they won’t be able to seek support from friends and colleagues.
- Don’t try to make the redundancy sound positive. Attempting to make the redundancy seem like a good thing to put your employees at ease is not a good idea.
- Don’t announce redundancies before a weekend or holiday. By announcing the news earlier in the week, at least they can air any grievances with you and seek support from colleagues.
- Look after yourself. Don’t forget about yourself! It’s never easy to make someone redundant and can feel very isolating.
You could also offer your employee external outplacement support. This gives them an opportunity to take control and respond proactively to the changes taking place to shape their own future.
Offering this support to your employees has all of the following potential benefits:
- Business reputation and brand is retained in the market by exiting employees who have been treated with dignity.
- Demonstrates a duty of care and goodwill.
- Eases the pressure on managers/HR staff by using independent, external providers to provide support.
- Demonstrates to exiting staff and also those that stay behind that the employer values its people.
- May make all the difference to that employee wanting to work in your organisation again in future.
- More often than not, we also then find that those who are offered this level of support go on to a positive experience, because they’ve considered their future with professional support, rather than making reactive decisions which can often lead to repeated experiences that don’t serve them well.
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” – Maya Angelou