With recent Barclaycard research finding that 82% of UK SMEs have been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, employers will inevitably have some tough and uncomfortable decisions to make in the coming weeks and months – indeed these may have already been made.
Even those businesses that have experienced an upturn and had to take some extra staff on may at some stage soon have to make redundancies as demand drops off back to pre-Covid levels. So whether the last few months have been good or bad for an organisation – at some stage; many employers will have to consider redundancies and restructuring.
The factors considered below look at the provision and support for those leaving a business, and also the key considerations for those left behind and the challenges they face both emotionally and from a performance perspective.
With a focus currently on reducing cost, the critical factor will be driving new revenue from a reduced workforce, with more expected of them, including additional responsibilities where the requisite skills may be lacking.
Clemorton would like to discuss the issues and challenges you face and support you with the bespoke interventions to not only sustain the business in the current challenging times, but help shape the future with a workforce that is skills capable and has a “can do attitude”
So how will you support your staff and plan for the new future?
Redundancy can of course create difficult situations and conversations in your organisation. Often the most tricky and stress inducing aspect of managers and leaders roles.
What considerations have you given about how to support:
- employees at risk of redundancy and how you can ease their transition into future work and being in the labour market once again
- managers who are breaking the news – often overlooked and a difficult skill to feel confident with
- the people leading the consultation – allowing them to reflect and work through the impact that this is having on them
- employee representatives – and the responsibility burden that this can bring
- staff that are staying on – and the “survivor’s guilt” that can remain after restructuring and redundancy plans have been rolled out
- remaining staff feeling pressured by additional role responsibility and the multi skilling issues that often comes from this
- redefining individual role responsibilities and expectations to aid clarity, reduce interpretation and focus on the critical issues to enhance business sustainability
- Those staff responsible for revenue generation and sales that are in commercial and sales teams who will carry immense responsibility for survival and future success
Organisations have a responsibility to help staff find another job or give them supportive training to ease the transition out of the business.
Finding yourself about to be back in the job market after many years of working for the same employer can be daunting.
Articulating the value that you can bring and giving examples of how you are able to help can be a difficult and scary prospect. These skills need to be understood and practiced – we can help your staff with this reskilling; providing them with the best chance of securing a job that they will enjoy and will keep them financially stable post-redundancy.
Retrain workshops are available and the most common areas focus on topics such as;
- Leadership and Management training allowing people to make a step up on exit to the next level of management – including ILM certificated Programmes
- CV writing, advice and support
- Interview skills and selling yourself during the recruitment process
- Assertiveness training for those with confidence and communication gaps
It’s commonly overlooked that those remaining after redundancies or restructure go through stress and challenging periods as they see friends and colleagues losing their jobs.
As the organisation alters and changes there will also be uncertainty surrounding responsibilities and roles leading to fear about the future.
You can support staff by providing:
- Some specialised counselling and perhaps an opportunity for additional face-to-face meetings
- clarity on plans for the future of your organisation and giving managers the confidence to present and communicate this with confidence and clarity
- help finding work for another company – reskilling them in reference to interview skills and selling themselves
Support those with responsibility for telling others of the difficult news
You should make sure that anyone cascading and telling people the news to others:
- have a thorough understanding in detail of the organisation’s plans as far as is possible
- has clarity on why and how the redundancies are being made
- is well trained to deliver this news and handle possible responses and reactions
- is not over-loaded with additional work (their role often involves long hours)
- has internal support from colleagues
- understands the support they can get from external objective professionals like the Clemorton Team
If management are adequately trained and skilled in difficult conversations they can then offer support and help to staff who are being made redundant.
This benefits those left after the changes have happened, as it helps them to feel like the situation was handled professionally and sensitively – which is a key aspect of organisational reputation. This helps reduce the fear of the future for those still uncertain about the longer term outlook.
If the situation is handled in the right way it can make a big difference to:
- the reactions and impact of being able to cope with going through a redundancy process
- the morale of staff who are staying on after the changes
- the positive reputation of the company based on the respect of the people leaving based on the support they were given during these difficult times
- the overall success of the implementation of the changes within the new organisation
With mass redundancies expected over the coming months, it’s easier to fall into a focus on just supporting those losing their jobs. But ‘survivors’ also need reassuring that their job is safe and the process was conducted fairly. Survivor’s guilt is real and can have a damaging effect on morale, productivity and health of the remaining workforce. Workshops that are useful to combat this are as follows;
- Dealing with change including loss of relationships with former colleagues
- Motivating yourself and your staff after restructure and redundancy
- Considering those working from home with limited colleague interaction and the motivational skills managers need for remote working
Finally but importantly, those commercial and sales teams with the responsibility of rescuing sales and revenues will now feel added pressure and will have to readdress how they sell and in what way?
It is here that our extensive experience in helping companies to improve their top-line could be useful. This involves a mixture of many things including; the right targeting and messaging, sales process and methodology as well as a blend of the right behaviours and skills executed at the right time by highly competent people. Let us deliver the specific workshops and programmes that will help build and regenerate your pipeline, relationships and revenues back to post Covid-19 business health.