An HR Guide to Compassionate Management
With a lot of major companies announcing redundancies lately including Wilkinsons and Virgin Media, it got me thinking. It’s not the glamorous or fun side of HR (actually, is there a glam side?!), but it is an element of the role, and when it needs doing, it needs to be done well.
So, today, we’re diving into a topic that might make you cringe a little – redundancy. But fear not! I’m here to show you how to manage this situation with all the empathy and compassion in the world. After all, tough times call for the biggest hearts.
1. Communication: The Empathy Express
Picture this: you’re about to break the news of redundancy to an employee. Take a deep breath and remember, empathy is your co-pilot. Approach the conversation with a sincere tone and acknowledge the emotional rollercoaster it can be. Listen actively and give them room to express their feelings. Remember, you’re not just delivering a message; you’re being a human connection in their moment of uncertainty.
2. Timing is Everything
You wouldn’t serve a birthday cake at a funeral, right? Timing matters when it comes to redundancy discussions. Choose a time when the employee can digest the news without added stress. It’s always good to consider avoiding Fridays or right before important deadlines, where you can. And schedule the conversation in a private and comfortable space, away from prying ears.
3. The Outplacement Magic Wand
Redundancy isn’t the end; it’s a new beginning. Offer outplacement support options like career coaching, CV workshops, and interview prep, (and at MPC we have some fantastic partners that offer these exact types of services). This isn’t just about finding them a new job; it’s about giving them the tools to leap into their next adventure. It’s like teaching them how to fish rather than just handing them a fish.
4. Let’s Talk Packages
Sure, we’re talking about numbers, but let’s keep the human touch intact. Be transparent about severance packages, benefits continuation, and any legal requirements. Explain these details in a clear, compassionate manner, without overwhelming them with jargon.
5. Empower and Encourage
Encourage your employees to take the reins of their own journey. Provide resources on reskilling, upskilling, and networking where possible. By empowering them to explore new avenues, you’re helping them see that this isn’t a setback; it’s an opportunity for growth.
6. Employee Welfare
Redundancy can be a stress storm, so keep the channels of communication open. Connect them with counselling services or support groups. Show them that the company cares about their emotional well-being.
7. The Farewell Fiesta
Exit interviews are like the final bow in a play. Make them meaningful. Ask about their experience, what they’ve learned, and how the company can improve. It’s a chance for closure and reflection.
8. The Ripple Effect: Remaining Team Morale
Redundancy isn’t just a one-person show. Your remaining team might be feeling the ripples too. Address their concerns, maintain transparency, and communicate that the company is actively working to ensure stability.
Remember, it’s not just about guiding someone out of the door; it’s about holding the door open for their next adventure. With effective communication, outplacement support options, and unwavering focus on employee welfare, you’ve got this! Redundancy can be a curveball, but you’re the skilled catcher. Go out there and show the world that even in tough times, kindness prevails.
Ps: if redundancy is on the horizon for you and you want to make sure you execute it well, we have a whole section on our membership. Everything from letter templates, trackers, matrix and timetables, plus we help guide you through collective redundancies and approaching redundancies in pregnancy too. Find out more about our memberships here