Nothing can hurt the employer branding of a company more than the action of employees’ retrenchment. And unfortunately, this coronavirus pandemic has forced companies to take that measure. Many companies across the globe have rolled out the furlough scheme, and thousands of employees are still facing the threat of getting retrenched.
Apparently, the immediate focus tends to be on survival and immediate cost reduction. But, how organisations manage communication towards those affected and those left behind will be crucial. It will test companies’ values and impact longer-term talent loyalty and engagement. How organisations handle redundancies will have a major impact on their reputation for years to come. However, companies can sail through this cold water after considering a few things.
Compassion is Extremely Important
HR departments must be supportive and explain why redundancies are needed. They must recognise the value and contributions of individuals impacted. As people affected will be having families to support, compassion is direly needed from HR leaders while communicating information regarding redundancies.
Think About the In-service employees also
Redundancy program not only affects those who come under this, but also those who survive from retrenchment. The remaining in-service employees may see a one-time redundancy program as the first round of redundancy. They might fear of being the next affected person, or they may fear of extra workload. Losing some office friends affects in-service employees’ working as well. In-service employees will be observing how their friends and colleagues are treated and supported; and, this will affect their loyalty and dedication towards work and organisation definitely.
Proper Communication is Crucial
Communication certainly holds the core area of the redundancy program. During periods of change and transition, people will feel nervous and anxious, but a regular, open and honest communication can help foster employee engagement – both the retrenched and in-service employees. Whenever there is a lack of communication, human nature is that people will start to make assumptions and rumors will start. Therefore, proper communication must be the priority of HR professional while dealing with serious matters like redundancy.
With maintaining the highest level of values during the redundancy program, companies can retain their employer branding in a good position. And even some of the highly skilled employees who were made redundant will look to return to the organisation.