When planning redundancies, an organisation may encounter a number of difficult decisions that may drastically affect their reputation both internally and externally. The information released to both the public and staff may affect how the company is perceived as a brand, and subsequently as a prospective employer. These are just some of the reasons that a Communications Strategy is vital.
It is vital for any company engaging in planned redundancies to have a structured communications plan for all levels of management and staff. This is an extremely sensitive period for all involved and a good communications plan can facilitate a smooth transition and a pre-arranged flow of information.
The typical view of redundancies tend to focus mainly around the employee/s that are departing, however the impact that it has on all the remaining employees cannot be underestimated.
For remaining employees there will be a period of instability while everything settles down. It will be natural for them to be concerned about what will happen to their job or what will happen to the jobs their colleagues did or the extra workload they could have as a result. Management need to be aware of these potential issues and the unsettling effects redundancies can have so they need to keep communications open from an early stage.
They should not allow the grapevine to go unchecked with rumours and should have regular briefings to ensure that the remaining staff will support the new look organisation. Directors should be regularly seen on the floor and in offices talking to everyone
Organisations that come through a Redundancy plan successfully are those where Directors understand the legal and selection processes, regularly explain the details of the redundancy process and can describe the need for the new organisation structure in layman’s terms. This can generate an element of goodwill and re-engagement where people are more likely to buy in to what is going to happen, even if they are personally planning to leave the company.
A strong communications plan is an integral part of a supportive, effective outplacement programme to ensure the transitional period is completed with a minimum of negative repercussions both internally and externally.