Redundancy A Slippery Slope to Poor People Management

Redundancy is a challenging subject particularly as there is a lot of emotion that flows through this process from the individuals within the organisation that have to map out the redundancy to the person/s who are made redundant.

A fellow LinkedIn contact of mine wrote about the positive effect of being made redundant.  It wasn’t the process she was talking about it was what happened to her afterwards.  She took a leap of faith and her life changed positively.  The process however was not a happy one, she did not go into detail but she inferred that this was the case.

I also have a close friend who is a scientist who again experienced an organisational redundancy program which luckily did not affect her but many of her colleagues.  The process was handled in such away that I gasped every time she updated me on the situation.  First, representative of the executive team sent an email out to employees to inform them they were being made redundant, they proceed to thank everyone for their hard work thus far.  The following email said the a meeting with HR would be organised the following day to confirm which individuals had been affected.  Meeting? not quite, affected employees were told to go into the HR office and where handed an envelope which had a pink slip and other information confirming the redundancy package.

What went wrong here?  No consultation, no individual meetings with affected individuals, no support albeit emotional or outplacement support.  In my opinion there was no considered approach to this. How would anyone know if they had selected individuals fairly?  What was the selection process? As this happened close to Christmas you can image the upset their approach would have caused.

Unionised environments it is said may stop these situations from happening as the Unions act on behalf of the employees.  I do agree in principle with this statement however it really depends on the Union.  Some act defensively others act consultatively. Equally one would also have to comment, some organisations do not go into negotiations with unions openly or honestly.

Redundancy is a challenging process so why do some organisations make it harder to implement? How can we stop negative processes causing harm to individuals. Who takes care of those who suffer anxiety, stress and depression because of a poor thought out procedure?

If we as HR professionals do not speak out against negative processes and procedures how can things change.  Is the fear of being dismissed by employers so strong that we cannot be good advisors?

Interested to hear other views or experiences on this subject.



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