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Redundancy survivors – helping those who remain

Redundancy

While at times the requirement to make a position redundant may be unavoidable, it is essential that you have a strategy in place to help manage the potential impacts long after the employee has gone. Quite often, employers can underestimate the impact that a redundancy can have on those employees who remain with the organisation. 

During periods of redundancy, it is essential that clear lines of communication are kept open with not only the redundant employee, but with those employees who are remaining in the workplace. Often, employees who remain with an organisation after a redundancy/ies occur will be impacted even when their position is deemed to be ‘safe’.

Redundancy ‘survivors’ may find it difficult to move forward and to remain positive and productive at work as they may experience feelings such as guilt, loss insecurity and resentment. Such negative impacts can manifest themselves in a number of ways, including:

  • Anger with employees looking for someone to blame for the situation having occurred,
  • Loss of productivity,
  • An increase in employee turnover,
  • Loss of trust between employees and management,
  • Resentment where workloads are increased due to the retrenched employees’ duties having been spread out to those employees remaining.

If care is not taken to manage the after-effects of redundancy, an employer may find that the consequences, such as those outlined above, may outweigh or negate the cost savings that they had intended to achieve with the redundancies.

Having a clear and consistent communication strategy in place for both during and after the redundancy process can assist with alleviating employee concerns and to help reduce the spread of workplace gossip.

Remaining employees are likely to have questions regarding matters such as:

  • The redundancy process,
  • The future operational requirements of the business,
  • What the changes will mean to them, such as whether their roles be impacted or changed as a result.

While the nature of redundancy consultation discussions themselves should remain confidential, it is important that those employees who remain with the business have an understanding of what has occurred and why. It is also important that remaining employees can see that an exiting employee has been treated fairly and with respect.

As an employer and/or manager, while you may naturally want to keep a low profile immediately following redundancies having occurred, it is important that you remain visible, available and willing to talk to employees to help alleviate any concerns which they may be experiencing.

Information in HR Advice Online guides and blog posts is meant purely for educational discussion of human resources issues. It contains only general information about human resources matters and due to factors such as government legislation changes, may not be up-to-date at the time of reading. It is not legal advice and should not be treated as such.

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