I want to talk today about the end of the redundancy consultation process,
when you're actually making people redundant - if you've not been able to avoid that situation.
Obviously, you'll have two levels of employees. You'll have people who volunteered for redundancy. You'll have people who haven't volunteered and are unfortunately selected for redundancy. These are all being dismissed by the company for reasons of redundancy. Both are difficult scenarios, but obviously with the volunteers that's what they want, it’s their preference, so they will leave - but they still need a level of support. They're going out either into the big bad world, they’re retiring, or whatever they're doing. There will definitely be a level of support that's needed for those employees.
Another level of support is needed for the people that didn't choose redundancy. That's a different level. I've been there myself - twice. I have to say on one occasion when I was made redundant I couldn't have been supported more by the organisation, by my manager, by the company. Everybody involved was absolutely fantastic to all of us who were made redundant. It was a horrible experience, but made as good as it possibly could have been because of the people involved.
Unfortunately, the other occasion was absolutely the opposite - there was no support. There was no real communication, and apart from my manager at the time (who was also being made redundant) being supportive - that was about it - the company offered no real support. You were treated like a number - it was terrible. Believe me, I'm old and experienced, I know how to do these things, and it still affected me quite significantly.
When you think about employees that are not used to this type of scenario,
and have never worked anywhere else, or are really frightened about what they’re going to do next, etc it’s devastating - it's absolutely devastating.
It doesn't have to cost a lot of money to support employees in a really good way. Think about outplacement support, think about do they need to write a CV? Are they nervous about having interviews? Are they thinking that they'll never get a job again? Are they wanting to change their skills? Proper conversations cost nothing! Sometimes some of the outplacement support available is a lot more cost effective than you would think.
Having personally made over 3,000 people redundant (and done that personally) in my career so far, I can honestly say that I've given every ounce of blood, sweat and tears to help those individuals to be at least in the best position they can be - and to give them that support. You can't do everything for them - but you can do a hell of a lot for them. I'd really encourage you, if you do unfortunately get into the position where employees are leaving, whether through voluntary redundancy or compulsory (but especially the compulsory redundancies) give them every ounce of your time and effort that you possibly can, to make life easier for them going forward. For me it’s morally what we've got to do as leaders.
I hope that helps - obviously if you need any help with this or workplace mediations, as ever, give us a call.