We’ve all heard the terms before; Restructure, redundancy, down-sizing and RIF (reduction in force). These events can quickly mutate from jittery whispers into fear and paralysis as employees begin to seek answers and obtain some form of assurance during times of workplace disruption and uncertainty.
For a Manager, restructure or downsizing can be a very sudden, emotionally charged and exceptionally stressful event. Many organisations often seek to manage change and restructure as quickly as possible, without thinking through a change and communication strategy, and driving through business change with due diligence, care and consideration of all staff. If not managed correctly, and without relevant support in place, Managers can be left completely unprepared and flailing. If unprepared, dealing with the sudden pressure to break the grim news to the employees and manage the tension and uneasiness that sweeps through the office or factory floor could lead to disaster.
Have a clear strategy for communication
It’s only natural that employees will feel a need for an explanation for the rationale behind the redundancy, or perhaps even seek some clarification for which departments and teams will be affected. In a difficult and stressful situation, managers may feel inclined to break the corporate line and adopt more informal communication. It is crucial to ensure you adhere to the core leadership message.
Being clear on your understanding of what to say and how to say it will create guidelines for avoiding the myriad of traps that you may otherwise fall into. Saying something inappropriate may fuel negative emotions towards the business and lead on to employees communicating their displeasure, distress and frustration amongst themselves, influencing one another, and to the outside world via social media. This can quickly tarnish the reputation of the business as an employer.
Most importantly, knowing what to say, and saying it in the right manner will circumvent grievance claims and legal backlash.
Provide Outplacement Support
Providing structure, guidance and support to departing employees mitigates the uncertainty and stress that accompanies the grim realities of being made redundant. It positions the employer favourably in the eyes of employees and serves to preserve morale by providing reassurance that the company is still invested in the future of their employees, whether they remain in the business or are made redundant.
Leverage off an experienced provider for onsite outplacement support and outplacement consulting
On-site outplacement support services introduce a neutral third party into the mix, which mitigates the risk of outbursts in the workplace. Often a manager may not be aware of nor expect the extreme reactions that employees will have when they receive the news that they are being made redundant.
On-site consultation process support with an experienced provider that knows the ins and outs of how best to manage a redundancy process can prove invaluable in working out the logistics behind redundancy notifications, avoiding outbursts in the office affecting other employees, and ensuring negative emotions are managed and ‘at risk’ employees are identified and effectively supported.
With over 20 years’ experience in leading Outplacement support and solutions, CDL Insight Consulting Limited® provides onsite consultation process support and redundancy notification support, assisting and guiding business in developing an effective outplacement communication strategy, identifying ‘at risk’ employees, managing emotions and stress, and personalised and confidential support for employees.
If word of redundancy or restructure hit your inbox today, would you be prepared?