You may have had to make some really tough decisions to make redundancies or layoffs in your business over the past few months. The stress of change and the unknown for you and your employees can start to take its toll. So it’s even more important to make sure you build in a plan for your surviving team to help them adjust to the changes, to reassure them of their future and support them as they adjust to the new structure.
The interaction that you have with your surviving team is even more important now and should be something that you plan alongside your restructure programs. It will help them to make sense of the changes, understand where they may need to pick up new skills or tasks to help the business. It reassures them that their job is safe to allow them to focus on the positives.
Implementing a plan is critical and very often the piece of the puzzle that’s left out.
In any redundancy situation the immediate priority is the fair and sensitive treatment of the employees who are losing their jobs. Once this has been achieved, the company’s ongoing effectiveness is largely dependent on the morale of the survivors.
Your primary objectives in looking after the wider workforce as a whole should be to:
- Give all staff a full explanation of the situation, including the procedure being used.
- Demonstrate the need for the changes.
- Explain that you have drafted in or consulted with your HR team to ensure redundancies are handled in a responsible, fair and effective way.
- Give an overview of any further reorganisation in the business and/or changes in working arrangements.
- Provide a forward-looking, positive attitude for the future and show survivors the value of their role in that future.
- Carry out individual discussions with remaining key workers, where necessary, to reassure them of their importance and employment prospects.
- Ensure that managers have, or develop, the necessary personal skills and attitude to operate effectively during periods of traumatic change.
- Keep everyone in the loop as much as you can; provide regular updates, be available to answer questions when they have them, offer your time to support your senior people and ensure they filter this down to their teams.
Throughout any process, but especially one that has such an impact on individuals but also the wider team its so important to keep communication lines open at all times. It saves unnecessary worry, allows your managers to feel empowered and able to deal with direct questions. It means that your remaining employees can focus on helping to support the business to get through the tough times and out the other side.