One of the most difficult tasks a manager will ever have to do is to inform a staff member, and possibly a friend, that they are being made redundant. While some employees may welcome the news if there is an attractive redundancy package, others will find it devastating. It can be a hugely stressful event for both manager and employee, particularly if there has been a personal friendship or a long-term working relationship between them.
There are a number of skills managers need to have for the trauma of telling employees they could be out of a job. Career Consultants can provide practical advice for managers on how to approach redundancy interviews and handle employee reactions. This will ensure that, even in the most difficult circumstances, the manager is as prepared as possible and will have their own planned script and structure in advance of the interview.
Managers are advised to expect negative reactions and are encouraged to provide the business reasons for the redundancy and remove themselves from personal responsibility. Losing a job is traumatic and common reactions include denial, shock, anger or depression so while managers are expected to listen with empathy they need to move the employee on to the next phase
It is important for Managers to be aware of when to inform their employees so they need to be sensitive to birthdays, anniversaries or other significant dates. The time of day is also important as employees should be informed at a time when they can process the information properly and minimise the impact.
There is no “easy” way to break the news, however when managers have been properly trained it can significantly reduce the impact. Breaking the News training, as part of an outplacement program can provide departing employees with the feeling that they have been treated fairly and with respect which will help them prepare to move to the next step in their career.