Top 5 Tips to make Redundancies a Positive Transition

By GroundedHR | July 3, 2020

Top 5 Tips to make Redundancies a Positive Transition

By GroundedHR | July 3, 2020

Posted by Caroline Chapman

on 3rd July 2020

As COVID 19 is continuing to have a significant effect on the economy and businesses are changing their working practices, some redundancies are going to be inevitable.

What it can feel like to be made redundant
Redundancies don’t have to be a negative experience. I want to share my personal experience of redundancy. A few years ago, I was made redundant. It has happened twice in my 20 year+ HR career. The first time it was easy to swallow and was a positive transition, the office was closing it was relocating and I didn’t want to move. There was no selection process, I got an enhanced payment and I walked straight into another job. I had been with that organisation for seven years and it felt like I had been paid a decent amount of cash to progress my career. It felt surprisingly good.

The second time, however, was far from good. I had also been with the employer about 7 years, got enhanced redundancy pay and walked straight into another job…. But it felt awful. In fact, I was probably low level angry about it for around 12 months, even though I LOVED my new job.

It was how I was treated by my managers When my line manager informed me I was going to be redundant she was textbook empathetic, but I was naturally gutted. However, it was what happened after that, which made the difference. Over my eight-week notice period, one of the team managers didn’t even speak to me. I mean at all; didn’t even say hello, ask me if I wanted a drink, didn’t even say goodbye or good luck on my last day. We had previously been peers and worked together for about six years. Nothing! The senior managers who we saw from time to time….. Nothing! No good luck or thank you for all your efforts. The other managers were ok but not outstanding, it really felt like no one cared.

Although I loved the job I went onto; it was one of my favourite roles, it took me about a year to be able to think about my redundancy experience without getting at least a tiny bit angry, I felt very let down. I knew the decisions weren’t personal, I knew objective criteria was followed but how it was implemented really affected me.

I was fortunate I got another job; my family were supported; I had no mental health issues but not everyone is in that situation. Something like this could have had huge and long-lasting negative effects on a person’s life.

Grounded HR provides straightforward, practical support and advice.

When I created Grounded Human Resources there were two things that were really important to me; that any support or advice had to be straight forward and practical. Secondly that people are treated with empathy and respect, as I personally know first hand what a difference it makes.

I know that in business, especially now, redundancies are inevitable. Simple, clear conversations, respect, empathy and talking about the ‘elephant in the room’ are what you need to make a redundancy situation a positive transition as possible.

1. Talk to your staff Choose the right time to tell your staff about potential redundancies. If you think you might need to make redundancies you need to carefully choose the right time to discuss it with staff; too early and people will be panicked unnecessarily, leave it too late and they will think you have been keeping it from them.

2. Talk to a HR professional to make sure that you are aware of any risks. Redundancies can lead to unfair dismissal or discrimination claims at Employment Tribunal if a fair process is not followed. Also, to find out if you need to report the redundancies to the Government.

3. Talk to your staff Be as open and upfront as possible. Explain the reasons for the redundancies and explain the process you will be following. Ask them how they are feeling.

4. Talk to your staff about the process. Get their feedback and ask them how they are feeling.

5. Talk to your staff Especially once the decisions have been made. Talk to them individually about the elephant in the room. It will make for a more positive transition for those leaving and those staying. Ask them how they are feeling.

Originally posted on the Business Wellbeing Club website –