Making An Employee Redundant During COVID-19: Advice For Employers

making an employee redundant during COVID-19

With every week heralding shocking news about large scale redundancies, and the furlough scheme’s end likely to bring about further job losses, the task of making an employee redundant has become a reality for business leaders up and down the country, and indeed around the world. Having consulted a number of HR teams and company leaders in recent weeks, we compiled our own advice for employers making staff redundant.

  1. Appreciate the importance of good leavers.
    Your departing employees could become potential clients, colleagues or even a future boss. Looking after them as much as you can at this point and going above and beyond will make all the difference.
  2. Focus on those that remain.
    Be open with your communication, take time to talk to them to communicate the decisions that have been made. Explain to them how they will be supported and how you are doing everything you can to help. Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky wrote an amazing note to all his employees recently explaining what was happening, how and why the decisions had been made, the support that they were providing and most importantly thanking his employees who had been a crucial part of the journey towards their success and reiterating that it was not their fault. Looking after and supporting your remaining talent is also important.
  3. Brand Reputation
    How you treat your departing employees will be noticed. With the transparency that social media has brought about, along with a culture of ‘reviews’, how you behave when making an employee redundant is likely to be relayed either online, in person or between networks. Strive to be a company that people want to work for or possibly return to in the future. Company culture and values should be paramount at this time.
  4. Offer a process and a plan
    Help your employees feel more in control, and avoid them becoming overwhelmed by offering a step-by-step guide to what happens next, and how you can help. At Transition Peak we provide immediate online career support which is designed to move your departing employees forward faster after redundancy. The online modules that are available for a year contain to-the-point documents, checklists and videos on the most important areas to focus and will not waste a moment of their time.
  5. Present the opportunity
    Is this a time for your departing employees to do something different? Can you save yourself time in offering them a practical exercise book so that they can focus on what to do next? Discover our book, What To Do Next, which can be followed at home, discreetly and at the employee’s own pace.

“Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the journey of self-exploration “What to do next?” took me on. I say surprisingly because I am a big sceptic of self-digging. “Do now, sort later” – is a life motto that worked well for me during my past career but failed to produce a new one. In this case, a bit of self-reflection through short and meaningful exercises was exactly what was needed to reenergise and re-establish life’s goals and come up with a plan I am content with. I feel the Transition peak got the formula right on helping individuals like me to find that second career.”

This is a challenging time for so many people, and making an employee redundant can be emotional and stressful for those having to make and communicate these decisions. We have also seen that with larger numbers departing, the support and questions answered ordinarily by HR professionals is unfortunately no longer possible.

For those departing, redundancy can be a time to reflect and re-evaluate and is even sometimes viewed as an opportunity but support at this time is absolutely critical for a smooth and positive transition. As a company, Transition Peak is devoted to helping your departing employees move forward faster in their careers following on from redundancy. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your needs further or request a demo.

About the Author

Charlotte Billington, Career Transition Coach and Co-Founder of Transition Peak
Charlotte BillingtonCareer Transition Coach and Co-Founder of Transition Peak
Charlotte Billington is a career coach who helps individuals at a crossroads. She has recently written a practical exercise book “What to do Next?”, available on Our Modules, that can assist and guide you through the process of changing jobs, understanding and maximising your own potential.