The retail industry has been in the news recently because of redundancies being made at an alarming rate and many have not received support in redundancy. Many retail sector staff have felt the pain of losing their job or a colleague to redundancy.
Then how can managers ensure that staff who are being made redundant or those who survive the redundancy process are sufficiently supported? Equally, the uncertainty they face could potentially cause mental and physical stress.
Help Reduce Uncertainty
Uncertainty about the future is a big cause of stress to employees. Therefore, to reduce the impact of stress on your staff, it is important that you provide as much information as possible.
Therefore, by offering support in redundancy, you could consider implementing:
- A clear communication strategy. Plan and implement a communication strategy, alongside your redundancy consultation, to ensure information is conveyed effectively to staff. This is to avoid sending out mixed messages to staff, and avoid inaccurate information circulating. This can be highly damaging and could derail the redundancy process.
- Financial advice. Additionally, financial worries are a major cause of stress. Therefore, you may wish to consider offering staff access to financial advice. Usually, this will ensure they understand the financial implications arising from their redundancy. Free advice is available from many credit unions and Citizens Advice. Signpost affected employees to these organisations
- Extra support. Furthermore, making services such as an employee assistance programme available to staff can provide much-needed practical and emotional support.
Support Surviving Staff
After making redundancies, many businesses experience an increased turnover amongst remaining staff. Equally, this is often linked to the emotional state of staff. In so much as they have kept their jobs and the on-going uncertainty that a major restructure can create.
To minimise staff turnover and support surviving staff, business should consider:
- Ensuring a formal and transparent redundancy procedure is in place. If staff see the process being carried out fairly and respectfully, it will help with their own wellbeing and motivation.
- Speaking to remaining employees on a one-to-one basis and listening to their concerns. Be open and honest and keep them informed of the process. Be upfront and transparent about job security. If you can’t guarantee that their job will be safe in the future, don’t tell that it will be.
- Ensuring that adequate training is provided. Especially where remaining staff have had a change of duties to cover redundancies or restructures.
It’s important that managers remember their own needs. While looking after the needs of staff, managers can often forget that they too are likely to need some support to help them through the changes ahead. Don’t under-estimate the impact on managers. Making people redundant is one of the most stressful tasks any manager has to do.
In short, managers should identify where they can get support from. Whether it be from colleagues, a mentor or coach, or source support outside their organisation. Therefore, this can be from an Employee Assistance Provider or Outsourced HR Provider for help.
What to do Now
Metis HR is a professional HR Consultancy based in the North West of England supporting clients across the country. We specialise in providing outsourced HR services to small and medium-sized businesses. Call us now on 01706 565332 to discuss how we may help you.