Redundancies in any business can present difficult challenges and uncertain times ahead. So what can businesses do to support the staff left behind and preserve their workforce?
Over the past few weeks, the retail industry has been making redundancies at an alarming rate and many retail sector staff have felt the pain of losing their job or a colleague to redundancy.
So how can managers ensure that staff who are being made redundant or who survive are sufficiently supported as the uncertainty they are facing may cause mental and physical stress?
1. Reduce uncertainty
Uncertainty about the future is one of the biggest sources of stress. To reduce the impact of stress on staff it is important that employers provide as much information to staff as possible. Below are a few things employers should consider implementing:
- A clear communication strategy – businesses should plan and implement a communication strategy to ensure clear and effective communication with its staff. They should avoid issuing mixed messages to staff, and avoid inaccurate information circulating, as this can be highly damaging and could derail the redundancy process.
- Financial advice – financial worries are a major cause of stress so businesses should consider offering staff access to financial advice to ensure they understand the financial implications arising from their redundancy.
- Communicate available support - making services such as an employee assistance program available to staff can provide much-needed practical and emotional support.
2. Support surviving staff
After making redundancies, many businesses experience an increase in turnover amongst remaining staff. This is often linked to the emotional state of staff who have kept their jobs and the on-going uncertainty that a major restructure can create.
To minimize staff turnover and support surviving staff, business should consider:
- Ensure a formal 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.
- Speak to remaining employees on a one-to-one basis and listen to their concerns - be open and honest with employees, keeping them informed of the process and be upfront and transparent about job security.
- Ensure that adequate training is provided where remaining staff have had a change of duties to cover redundancies or restructures.
3. Managers require support too
It’s important that managers remember their own needs. While looking after the needs of their staff, managers can often forget that they too are likely to need some support to help them through the changes ahead.
Managers should identify where they can get support from, whether it be from colleagues, a mentor, a coach or from someone outside their organization such as an EAP provider.
Author: David Price is a wellbeing expert and CEO of Health Assured, a provider of innovative health & wellbeing solutions. He advises employers daily on how to encourage and develop a healthy workplace, whilst outlining best practice guidance on how to combat and control workplace stress. David also speaks regularly to the press and media on mental health issues with his commentary profiled on SKY News, BBC and a regular contributor to Financial Adviser from the Financial Times.