Guest blog | The right thing to do during redundancy
In this month’s Guest Blog, Greg Hart of outplacement firm Lee Hecht Harrison, talks about the importance of doing the right thing by employees in a redundancy scenario, and the role of outplacement support in this.
Due to the global shock felt as a result of COVID-19 and the resulting deep recessions many countries are now facing, businesses are having to make tough decisions to reduce costs and make redundancies. Letting people go is always difficult but letting them go during such a time of global turmoil can really put a strain on the people who are having to make and manage the redundancies. Our latest research explores not only the current fears and anxieties about the current situation but also whether HR leaders are doing the right thing by their people during redundancy.
In our research, 36% of the HR Directors we surveyed said their employer had already made redundancies, of these, 17% described the number of redundancies as ‘significant’. A further 17% said they hadn’t made redundancies yet, but they definitely will – which may happen once the furlough programme ends.
Understandably, there is a lot of worry and anxiety felt amongst employees with losing their job being their top concern at the moment (27%), above catching COVID-19 at work (19%). A further 17% were worried about their company going under and when asked about how these worries made them feel, 24% said that their morale is now lower at work. Many are looking to their business to provide some level of support.
This pressure often falls on the shoulders of HR. 93% of HR Directors said that they are feeling under pressure. 37% of those surveyed said they find making people redundant due to the impact of COVID-19 on the business as ‘very stressful’. 35% said they’d find it much better if they were able to support people in finding a new job with a third believing it more important than ever to offer outplacement support. When asked why organisations would offer outplacement, the top two answers were – to be seen as a responsible employer (56%) and because organisations that genuinely cared about helping people find new jobs would use outplacement (41%).
As tough as these decisions might be, it will be important from a brand perspective to look back and know the organisation has done the right thing by your employees exiting the business. Providing those employees with relevant and timely outplacement support to help them secure their next move can make all the difference, not just to the individuals concerned but also to the colleagues they leave behind, and the line mangers and HR leaders involved in the process.
For more information you can download our Best Practice Guide for Making Redundancies here.
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