Let’s face it; staring into the eyes of a hardworking, loyal employee and breaking the news of their redundancy is never an easy conversation to have, but there are some ways to reduce the sting and ensure they have a smooth career transition.

Plan the conversation

If you don’t break redundancy news in a compassionate manner you can make your staff member’s transition more difficult, their notice period more awkward and your work environment more strained.

With this in mind, it is important to map out your conversation before you talk to your employees, so you say what you need to in the best way possible.

Watch your language

Be mindful of the words you use when informing your employees of redundancy. While you do want to personalise each conversation when talking about redundancy you need to keep words role based not people based. For example saying “the role has been made redundant” not ” you have been made redundant”.

Not only will this minimise the risks to your employment brand during transition, it can also prevent your employee from thinking they have been personally rejected from the company.

Explain why the change is happening

Transition and redundancy can be very distressing for employees, particularly when they haven’t seen change coming and have been with your organisation for a long time. To help them, explain the need for the redundancy.

Be as open and honest as you can when talking about the reasons behind your decision. This explanation will help with their grieving process and closure, and again reinforce that it was a business decision, not a personal rejection. The worst thing you can do is leave your employee wondering why the redundancy happened.

Acknowledge their achievements and contributions

People still want to feel valued, and that can be hard during redundancy. For this reason, it is important to praise your employee’s contributions and achievements and sincerely thank them for their ongoing commitment to your organisation. This courtesy can go a long way during their transition period.

While transitioning staff will still experience a wide range of emotions, treating them with respect and dignity can ensure you still maintain a healthy company culture through their notice period.

Tell them what to expect next

One of the worst parts of change is a fear of the unknown. Understand that your transitioning staff will experience this fear both personally and professionally. While you can’t resolve all of their concerns, you can help them by telling them what to expect next through their redundancy like severance pay, their notice period and any support services you will provide.

If they will be leaving immediately after your conversation and not serving out a notice period, help them to understand why. Finding out your position has been made redundant and then being ushered out of the workplace immediately can be an extremely confronting and traumatic for an employee, so a simple and compassionate explanation on the importance of getting back to business as usual can help.

Organise career transition services

It is one thing to tell your employees they are valued, it is quite another to show them. Career coaching and outplacement services give your transitioning team a nicer ending to their time with you and greater confidence in their new journey. By ending on a more positive note change can be seen as an opportunity, which can protect your employment brand over the long term.

Be available afterwards

Just because employees are leaving your organisation, it doesn’t mean your responsibilities as an employer stop after you have delivered the news. Don’t hide away or avoid your transitioning team. Continue to make them feel valued and be available should they have questions or need to discuss their transition.

Also keep the lines of communication open by promptly informing them of any changes or developments that impact their remaining time with you.

Talk to the survivors

For many organisations, the conversation stops with their transitioning team, but your surviving employees also need to be addressed. They too will experience different emotions, more commonly guilt for remaining when others have gone.

You may also find you need to re-engage survivors of change if there have been a lot of changes or if they have had their confidence shaken and trust broken through the process.

Give your transitioning staff the support and edge they need, call us today on (07) 3838 1388.