As a business owner, you will no doubt have to make some difficult choices along the way. It’s not the nicest thing to think about, but sometimes the tough decisions are necessary for not only your business success, but also survival. And sometimes that means saying goodbye to some of your team in the form of redundancies. 
 
Redundancy is sadly a fundamental part of the ever-changing business landscape, and most growing businesses have to go through it at one point or another, and the current circumstances have caused more redundancies than ever before. We’ve not seen the foundations of business move so much since the 2008 crash! The economy, society and wider market have been moving faster than ever, with modern technology forcing businesses to be more agile and adapt, survive, evolve and thrive – all on top of meeting the needs of their customers in more innovative ways. Which has, unfortunately, meant the unavoidable need for redundancies. 
The Redundancy Effect 
 
While you have probably thought about the implications for your business, you may not have considered the impact redundancy on your employees. On top of the sadness and the worry, there is usually an unspoken need, a ‘please look after me when I’m leaving’ that echoes through everyone’s mind. That after years of service for your company, they will be well taken care of as you usher them out the door. The main reason for this is that there is a not insignificant risk that it will take them longer than normal to get back into employment. And while technically as an employer, you don’t have to offer anything more than a redundancy pay out, a good way to ease this fear and keep your employer brand name positive in the market is to consider an outplacement programme. 
 
Why Does Outplacement Work? 
 
Outplacement is the idea of you providing support and resources to your outgoing employees as part of their redundancy. This support should help the employee prepare for re-entering the workforce with a new company, giving them the best chance of employment. There are 4 reasons this approach works, and why it may be beneficial to your business: 
 
 
Your Obligations: As an employer you have both moral and statutory obligations as a responsible employer, and they go far beyond a leaving gift. If you find yourself needing to change your businesses size, shape or nature, you should be doing your best not to abandon anyone. Each and every one of your employees have contributed to your business with their work and time, so providing outplacement support offers the same for them in their career moving forward. 
 
Employer Brand: How you handle redundancy is a direct reflection of your employer brand. Of course people will recognise that redundancy is both a common and necessary part of working life, but that doesn’t make it enjoyable! If you treat people with generosity and compassion during these difficult times, it will reflect your values as a business and employer, and create positive feeling in the market. 
 
Morale: Don’t forget that redundancy doesn’t just affect the people who are being let go. It also impacts the people left in the office, who will often feel tension and uncertainty throughout the process. So part of your redundancy process needs to be clear communication across every area of your business, and doing as much as you can to smooth the waters. Delivering positive and constructive help for those who are leaving can improve existing staff morale, and let them know you look after your staff even when they leave you. 
 
Protect Future Talent: If you handle a redundancy process insensitively, the result will usually be unhappy former employees. Just like when you experience bad service from a restaurant or shop, these experiences are often shared with friends, family and social media circles. But when you as a business take a more active role in the process and offer support, they are likely to speak more positively of you and remember the positives of your business. They could even become part of your talent pool in the future, should the right roles become available. 
 
If you’re facing the daunting task of managing the redundancy process, it can be tempting to just get it over with as soon as possible – especially if the decision was financial in nature. And in that case, adding to the bill feels like the last thing your business should do! But outplacement and career coaching should be seen as a business investment, and a way to stand out as a stellar employer. It’s a way to strengthen and look after your employer brand, and showcase your values to the wider world through action. If you’d like to know more about outplacement support, I would love to help. Just get in touch with me today to book your free, no obligation chat. 
 
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