1. Poor communication
Every bit of communication counts. It needs to be meticulously planned so that everyone involved, especially those whose role is being made redundant, hear the news in a timely and appropriate fashion. Implementing clear and timely communications where there is transparency over who is saying what and when, can help mitigate the risk of any misinformation being spread. Many organisations fall into this trap with leaders shying away from having open dialogue about the rationale, structure and implications of the redundancies.
2. Untrained managers
One of the areas that often causes disputes is the handling and delivery of the consultations by the managers. When handled badly, it could undermine the entire process and even create legal risks. These consultations not only require due process, but also elements of empathy and professionalism which is why organisations provide support, guidance and training for managers to make sure they have the skills to manage the process effectively.
3. No alternatives
An employer has the legal obligation to offer suitable alternative employment. ‘Suitable’ will depend on several factors such as how similar the role is, terms of the job being offered, employee skills and abilities and the pay/benefits of the job. Organisations will need to be clear on all alternative employment options when managing at-risk employees in order to mitigate risk of any unfair dismissals. Having a well organised redeployment program in place can not only support managers in these situations but can support the business with making the most of their internal skillset.
4. Zero afterthought
There’s more to be considered for the employees impacted than just handling the consultation process correctly. Organisations who have experience in the process understand that offering outplacement support allows for a smoother transition and can mitigate several risks. From improving morale and motivation of remaining employees to reducing legal action from displaced staff, the benefits of offering outplacement support are many and varied.
5. Lack of support for HR
Another group of employees that often get neglected in the redundancy process is the HR team. HR are on the frontline during redundancies and are under incredible strain as they prepare the organisation and impacted employees for what’s to come. As they are an integral part of the process, they can often get wrapped up in the huge array of negative emotions that surface. Providing resilience training that tackles how to manage these volatile situations can put your HR team in a good place for when redundancies occur.
6. Neglecting survivors
Many key stakeholders have been mentioned so far, but an often-forgotten group are those employees that remain in the business. The ‘survivors’ are often expected to get on with their roles as if nothing has happened and organisations ignore the emotional toll and disruption redundancies can have on those that are expected to drive the business forward. Feelings of anger, guilt, or sometimes even relief should not go unnoticed. Offering employees training on managing change can give them the opportunity to explore and understand the emotions around change, as well as the tools and strategies for managing themselves and others through periods of uncertainty.
7. Exposed brand
Negative experiences relayed to the masses can quickly damage the employer and customer brand when redundancies are handled poorly. Organisations are already under the limelight with redundancy announcements and so they don’t want to be caught out with any controversial experiences. Providing support for employees as they go through the redundancy process will protect the brand and safeguard the organisation’s reputation.
These 7 risks can be avoided. When your business is faced with redundancies, LHH is here to support you so you can be prepared to tackle these challenges. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you.