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How the Manager Deals With Redundancy

Redundancy is never an experience that employees want to be part of, but what about the managers who have to deliver it?

Nobody likes dealing with redundancy. The ‘other side of the fence’ is stressful, especially if the employee has been at the organisation for a long time and have been a valuable member of the team. Redundancy is often due to no fault of the employee, and they are often a victim of circumstance, such as a the collapse of the market sector.

There are several points for the manager to remember when involved in the redundancy situation:

  1. Release as much information as you can as soon as you are able, but also give those individuals a dignified exit. Depending on the situation, it may be worthwhile to ask the employee how they want to say ‘goodbye’. Do not ask this in the redundancy meeting, but a few days later!
  2. Ensure that a process is followed. It will help legally but also helps to reduce the impact on you, those leaving, the survivors and the overall business. Although it may be deemed necessary to ‘lose people now’, a series of meetings, a selection pool and criteria will help to reduce the stress. Fairness goes a long way.
  3. Gauge the speed of the process, either too slow or too quick, can add to the stress of everyone.
  4. Always consider other alternative jobs, part-time or short-term layoff first. It may not give any other options, but at least you have done all you can to prevent the redundancy.
  5. Remember that it may not be you who has decided to go down the redundancy route. You may just be delivering the message, so don’t take it personally.
  6. Your communication is never going to be good enough in your view, but all the employee will probably hear is the word ‘redundancy’.
  7. Try and suggest any outplacement support you can offer and remember that the offer of a reference will be of benefit.
  8. Identify who you can get support from if they are not already offering it. It may be your line manager, HR or an EAP provider.

Coppice HR has dealt with many redundancy situations on a global or local basis and realises that it is not pleasant whatever role you take. Contact us on paul@coppicehr.com, www.coppicehr.com or 07814 008478 and we will not only look at the policy, procedure and best practice elements but also the softer and more individual factors too. Remember that “You Do The Business, We Do The HR.”


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