The pace of change in the business world continues to increase — and so do the risks of workplace change. Here are four risks to be aware of when transitioning employees to ensure your employment brand is protected.

1. Short-timer syndrome

Short-timer syndrome is often experienced when staff, who are waiting out their notice or redundancy period, become disengaged or indifferent and have a significant drop in productivity because they have no future with the company. Needless to say, this can cause major issues when tasks still need to be done, and customers still need to be served.

How to minimise the risk: Your transitioning team should still feel like valued members of your team during their transition – they do after all still have value, input and insight to provide. You may also want to put in place a reward or bonus structure to keep employees focused and engaged.

2. Reluctance to transfer knowledge

Depending on their role within the organisation you may require a transitioning team member to share their knowledge or train another member of the team on some tasks. Occasionally, due to resentment and anger, the exiting person can be reluctant to cooperate. This reluctance can result in your organisation being held to ransom.

How to minimise the risk: Where possible before a change occurs, ensure that processes are mapped out, passwords are captured and that there is understanding of tasks and roles amongst the team. During the change, treat transitioning employees with respect and fairness. If you have or suspect you will have trouble with an employee, look at engaging an independent third party who can help your team member work through and manage any issues and assist you with the transfer of knowledge.

3. Loss of goodwill

You can spend a lot of time, money and energy building a good brand to not only attract the best staff but also to attract and maintain good customers. During change and transition, it can be very easy to lose goodwill in both circles as customers experience a drop in service levels, transitioning staff experience feelings of rejection and neglect, and surviving employees watch how management handles or in some cases mishandles the change.

How to minimise the risk: Going the extra mile in providing outplacement services can go a long way in maintaining the goodwill amongst both transitioning and surviving employees. Showing that you care what happens to them after they leave will make the process easier for them, and the happier your employees are, the happier your customers are.

4. Legal action

Legal action is one of the biggest risks you can face during restructure and redundancy. Unfair dismissal and workplace bullying claims can often come as result of the mismanagement of organisational change and the hurt, rejection and anger team members experience through the transition.

How to minimise the risk: Make yourself aware of your legal obligations when it comes to making staff redundant. By seeking council and ensuring you meet all legal requirements, you will minimise your risks significantly. In our experience outplacement services have also significantly reduced the risk of legal action by helping your staff to remain in a positive mindset and to see the prospect of leaving as an opportunity. This combined with showing compassion in their time of stress and a commitment to their future, staff are more likely to look back on their time with you in a positive light.

Ensure you part on good terms with your staff, call us today on (07) 3838 1388.