The last four months have seen many employers find themselves in an unexpected position making tough people decisions. For some, their companies are just a skeleton of their former self, as they have had to make many roles redundant in order to survive. Although it is the role that is redundant it is the individual and the remaining colleagues that are affected. Whether the news was expected or sudden, the impacted employee and community will need support.
Being made redundant is tough for anyone – financially and emotionally.
In the current market when there is so much uncertainty, the fear of the unknown exists for all. When I consider the last four months I feel as though I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotions. As a business, we are still strong, however, in order to survive we too have had to make some hard people decisions. I’ve felt sadness for former colleagues, disappointment, elation at winning work and grateful that I am still employed in this market. Survivor syndrome is real and COVID-19 has heightened this.
When leaders make the business decision to make a role redundant, I know for most it is one of the hardest decisions they will ever make. The flow-on affect to an individual, a family and community is hard felt. If I reflect back to the GFC, I still hear stories about how companies did or didn’t treat their outgoing employees with respect and dignity. If we take anything away from 2020 its that we’ve seen the “human” come back into organisations and communities.
Offering the support of a transition program can make all the difference today and for the future for affected employees. This includes the outgoing and those remaining.
Losing your job is in the top 10 of the Life Stress Inventory.
A redundancy situation is tough under normal circumstances and during a pandemic the uncertainty escalates. (The Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory -The Social Readjustment Rating Scale).
No doubt conducting a job search during this pandemic is more challenging. Impacted employees are focusing on a job search while grappling with the impacts of COVID-19, which may seem at the time almost impossible. However, it is not impossible if you have a support network. We speak with our customers about the stages of transition and the benefit of positively assisting impacted employees in moving forward quickly and taking action - keeping them connected and ensuring they feel supported. Helping them to clarify their career direction, cope with change, and make their next career steps with confidence and enthusiasm is an essential component.
I am a career coach, bringing over 30 years in the people sector to my role. My purpose is to connect people with their passion, to enable them to realise their full potential. In today’s climate, it is my distinct privilege to work closely with impacted employees daily, and I have been told time, and again it is the combination of the individual service and connected environment we create for our people in transition that they value the most. I am living my purpose and have honestly never felt more valued and appreciated by the people I have supported through transition to their New Beginning then in this time of uncertainty. I am also proud of the fact that the work we do is an extension of our client who has engaged us. People remember how you make them feel. And, that includes not just individuals but their view of their former organisation.
We partner day in, day out with many organisations and leaders that are making tough people decisions. Although it’s a very difficult period, treating your employees with respect and dignity will go a long way – not just for today but tomorrow and the years to come.
Kerri Hansen is a Client Partner - Careers, Leadership Development & Consulting Services at OnTalent. She partners with individuals and organisations throughout Australia to achieve their people strategies. Connect with Kerri to discuss how OnTalent can support your business, brand and people with respectful and outcome-driven Career Transition programs.