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Coping with Redundancy

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Outplacement Blogs

Coping with Redundancy

Unwanted redundancy is tough for everyone involved. HR staff never enjoy making people redundant and nobody likes losing their job. Even those who voluntarily take redundancy don’t always find the transition easy or straightforward.

That’s why it’s so important for both staff being made redundant and company representatives to know how to deal with redundancy well. Otherwise the fallout can be damaging for everyone.

Planning is crucial. Employers need to plan the process so it runs smoothly and is as sensitive to the employee’s position as possible. For the employee being made redundant, a plan for coping with job loss and finding a new position is crucial.

This is why one of the best solutions available is an outplacement service.

Why invest in Outplacement Services?

Redundancy is expensive, time-consuming and potentially damaging for a business. But Outplacement can make a positive contribution to a painful situation, making it less of an expense to a company and more of an investment – one that can pay huge dividends.

Why is that?

Well, for both your existing and ex-employees, redundancy causes stress. Those being made redundant may experience a range of emotions including fear, anger and resentment. Even if someone leaves the building as soon as they receive the news of their redundancy, colleagues will talk outside the office and that’s likely to be carried back into the organisation.

This causes uncertainty and engenders an atmosphere of anxiety and fear. Battle lines may be drawn between ‘them and us’, resulting in conflict and belligerence between staff and managers.

Outplacement services help quash any damaging negativity by reassuring those who remain with the organisation that they’ll be taken care of in the event that they too are made redundant. It reassures staff to see friends and colleagues being taken care of. It lessens fear and ‘survivor guilt,’ both of which can be so damaging to mental health.

For those who leave the company, outplacement services provide expert career guidance and support so they can look to the future with confidence rather than fear. Career counselling helps someone deal with the emotions around redundancy and gives them a space to acknowledge and express their concerns. This enables them to move on more rapidly and with more certainty.

The benefit of Outplacement to employers

It’s not usually the business owner or director who directly manages staff. That’s the line manager or HR department’s job.

That’s why it’s important to remember that line manager and HR staff are going to be affected by redundancies too, even though it’s not them who are losing their job. After all, they’re probably aware of what’s going on in the lives of individuals who are maybe coping with illness, a new baby or any number of other issues that HR would have been involved in handling.

Outplacement services can definitely reduce stress on HR staff who are managing the redundancy process. Knowing an employee will have expert help with finding a new job will offset some of the inevitable anxiety and guilt that comes with making others redundant.

So here’s a list of the benefits of Outplacement services:

  • Reduced stress for all involved, including HR.
  • A greater sense of care for remaining employees.
  • Less risk of a dip in morale resulting from the redundancies.
  • Raised reputation for the company as a good employer.
  • Evidence of care for staff, making recruitment easier.

Outplacement comes with a price tag, but the cost of not offering these services is much greater than the fees paid for these services.

For example, a good redundancy process and Outplacement services provision is likely to result in far fewer legal disputes and areas of conflict because the company is providing support to the person leaving employment.

In addition, a well-organised redundancy process is likely to lift some of the pressure from HR staff. They’re more likely to avoid sick leave or even quit.

Finally, any company will tell you that the reputation of a company can be smashed in an instant, so treating employees leaving the company well will reflect positively on the business. This can help retain customers and attract the best talent to the company as it shows the organisation is caring and willing to support staff through a challenging time.

In fact, when a company acts in a way that recognises their Corporate Social Responsibility, it can enhance the reputation of the business in the local and wider community. No business wants their reputation trashed on Twitter or to have word go around that they’re a bad employer.

Providing expert career support and guidance to individuals whose role has been made redundant is a yardstick by which all other actions by a company can be measured. Get it wrong when you let people go and you could be seen as a company who’s likely to get it wrong when making other crucial decisions.

The benefit of Outplacement to employees

For the person being made redundant, the value of a good outplacement service is easy to understand. When you’re facing the prospect of looking for work in an increasingly competitive job market, having an expert and caring professional on your side is going to reduce feelings of panic, isolation and fear of the future.

Outplacement services can be tailored to individual needs, but they must focus on numerous key areas:

  • What you want next in your career (goals and interests).
  • What you have to offer (skills, experience and ability).
  • Where to find the right roles.
  • How to approach your job search in an organised way.
  • How to write a great CV, write good job application forms and letters, and deal with interviews.
  • Or how to set up as a Consultant and attract new business.

If you want to change your career or go for a promotion, the Outplacement service can provide additional support in helping you identify a career plan and put it in motion. Ultimately, you leave not only with clear idea of your next step, but the subsequent steps too.

That allows you to move on from feelings like confusion, rejection, dismay and anxiety to calmness, confidence and even excitement as you begin to see the silver lining in the redundancy cloud. Outplacement provides you with a range of support, all aimed at helping you move forward in a positive way.

You should be receiving:

  • Expertise to ensure you fast-track into a new job.
  • Guidance and coaching around the question ‘what next?’
  • Practical support and accountability around job searches and career planning.
  • Support around dealing with the emotional fallout.
  • An opportunity to resolve the situation fast so you can move on.

Outplacement services ensure that if you’ve been made redundant, you feel supported and have the guidance you need to form and implement a plan for getting a new – and potentially better – job as soon as possible.

Working through a structured programme can give you back a sense of control over a situation that has been foisted upon you. This means you move from being passive to active in this situation. You’re directing and taking control of your future and not having redundancy “done to you”.

This signals a completely new mindset and attitude to yourself and your situation. Your confidence and self-esteem will rise as you see yourself as being able to cope with a difficult situation and handle it in a positive way.

Indeed, you may well be the person who claims: ‘I should have done this years ago!’ as you reap the rewards of rising to the challenge and moving forward with your life. You may not believe it now, but what now feel like a threat to your survival can become an exciting opportunity for change.

Even though you may be at a stage where feeling anything other than shocked, angry or fearful seems impossible. But that’s fine. Acknowledging and working through your emotions is the first step to processing what is happening so you can move on to new and better times.

Endings and beginnings

While redundancy signals the end of a particular role or period in your life, it’s also the start of something new. The change may not be welcome, but coping with it is essential.

Being able to cope means having strategies for dealing with the emotional and practical fallout of redundancy. Those coping strategies can include a wide range of approaches ranging from looking after yourself physically and mentally to working on your mindset, routines and habits. Do what’s right for you; what makes you feel good and what will help you achieve your goals.

Whether you’re handing out the redundancy notices or saying goodbye to your job, it’s important to remember you’re more than your job.

That’s why it’s important that you create strategies for coping with this emotional event. Take time to acknowledge your feelings before you begin a redundancy process or dive into a job search. Understand it will take time to deal with this event so you can manage your expectations of yourself.

Put this event into perspective. It’s not what you would choose, but you can handle it. Trust yourself, invest in the process and go with it rather than resisting it. Above all, aim to thrive through the redundancy process, not just survive it.

Do Contact Us if you have a need for Outplacement services for your employees or if you need support or help yourself.