With the push towards greater efficiency and a drive towards better-utilising technology within the HR industry, many companies are beginning to consider taking the ‘human’ element out of human resources, particularly when it comes to hard conversations like involuntary redundancy and the ongoing support that follows through career transition.

While it can seem to make life easier for management and HR, in the long-term phasing out face-to-face support in replace of virtual support can be damaging for your employment brand and staff in transition, leaving a sour taste in the mouth of past employees and creating greater stress for you.

Human beings deserve a human approach

When most of us hear about a relationship break up being announced by text, email, voicemail or another form of technology we find it appalling because people you have been in a relationship with deserve more.

The same applies to redundancy. You have working relationships with your staff members that span years if not decades. They deserve more than a notification or video call. They deserve you to show up, communicate the situation clearly and give them the closure they need to move on, and you can only do that in a face-to-face meeting. It’s also important for your own closure and wellbeing to know that you are working towards a positive outcome for all involved.

Face-to-face coaching through the transition process has been proven to be the best high touch approach, delivering more meaningful advice and far greater outcomes than doing it remotely over Skype, text or phone.

Good endings give way to good beginnings

When your transitioning staff receive the closure and support they need from you it’s easier for them to move on with their career. When you communicate it well, your staff will feel valued and respected, but also better understand why you’ve had to let them go.

Face-to-face coaching provides this tangible support that can be individually tailored to the needs of the employee enabling greater emotional wellbeing. It also allows for greater rapport and trust to be built through the coaching process, allowing the transitioning employee to work through emotional issues faster.

There is a big difference in the mindset of someone who thinks you are trying to get rid of them compared to someone who feels they are valued but due to disruption, financial struggle or change, in other words, forces external to their performance, no longer has a position in the organisation.

Past employees opinions impact your employment brand and your professional reputation

People talk. Did you know that when we have a great customer experience, we’ll tell less than ten people but if we have a bad one we’ll tell more than twenty? How many people will a past employee tell about a bad experience leaving your organisation?

When you respect your staff enough to speak to them face-to-face, handle the redundancy talk well and provide them with necessary face-to-face support like outplacement, they can transition faster into another position and minimise the disruption that the redundancy has on their lifestyle and confidence. The faster staff transition, the more positive their thoughts can be towards you, whereas the longer it is, the more they hold you to blame.

When going through change, particularly significant change, you need people talking positively about your organisation to repair and build confidence in your leadership and promote loyalty to your company. This starts with the simple, respectful step of having that sometimes uncomfortable redundancy talk face-to-face.

Need help planning the redundancy talk and providing outplacement to make the transition easier? At Turning Point Partners we have seen the benefits of face-to-face coaching firsthand, and how the human connection between impacted employee and coach can help employees move past their redundancy and transition faster. Call the transition experts, Turning Point Partners today on 1300 27 83 45 or email friendlyteam@turningpointpartners.com.au.