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Supporting redundancy and transition

Many organisations are facing difficult decisions in the coming weeks and months; with redundancies among their teams a likelihood given the unprecedented economic conditions created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

And when such decisions are made, proactive and human-centric approaches to supporting transition can have enormous impact — both in terms of meaningfully helping outgoing team members prepare for what’s next, and in protecting organisational reputation too. Showing support with consideration and compassion also sends important signals to those team members remaining. Research shared in Harvard Business Review in 2018 showed that downsizing a large workforce by just 1% lead to a 31% increase in voluntary turnover the following year — and with impact on team wellbeing, productivity and the potential for negative sentiment being shared online a risk among teams of all sizes.

"We need to get this right, and I mean really right. Really on the point of acceptance does this become something true."

David Bowie, Paris 1978

Purposeful, people-first approaches

Beyond individual redundancy payments, providing ongoing access for transitioning team members to meaningful and relevant skills development will bring immediate practical and emotional benefits. Many of those going through redundancy report shrinking social and professional support networks as a key concern, heightened in the current distributed context, as more of us will be processing news at home. Connecting outgoing employees to peers from similar organisations to enable social learning, sharing of opportunities and providing emotional support around common challenges can be transformative.

And with research showing that many people made redundant often quickly leave the next job they take up (having perhaps felt time pressure in accepting it, particularly in such a challenging jobs market) — employers can recognise this, and provide further reassurance by ensuring skills and development support for redundant team members well beyond their next role. It’s likely that this professional support will become even more valuable and appreciated over-time.

Ways we’re helping transitioning members of our partners’ teams:

— Ongoing, social learning and development
Individual, unlimited access to all live, social sessions in our remote learning programme; with supporting access to all eCourses and digital resources too. This is typically offered to transitioning team members for 2-3 years, something they can benefit from within and across their next jobs.

— A focus on the development that's most relevant right now
Encouraging a specific focus on timely and helpful areas like personal brand, networking, writing and narrative skills, identifying strengths and building resilience.

— Transition groups
Team members being made redundant and transitioning out of the organisation can join groups with peers from similar organisations facing similar challenges. These are safe, supportive and expertly facilitated spaces for building skills and confidence and enriching and exploring opportunities together.

This makes the point visually, and that counts