Do as you would be done by.

hugIn my view there is no better (or simpler) rule of thumb when you find yourself in the unfortunate position of making a colleague redundant.

So why is it that, so often, due process seems to assume more importance than common humanity? I appreciate that the driver for such an exercise is invariably cost cutting, but this doesn’t need to be done at the expense of earned appreciation, normal sympathy and symbolic gestures of support.

The way a company treats employees who are leaving as a result of redundancy is a key step in helping colleagues come to terms with the event. It might also help to diffuse some of the guilt and anger retained employees may feel – “survivor guilt”.  Allowing colleagues to leave without any acknowledgement is disrespectful and will foster an environment of mistrust and uncertainty.

By circulating some basic guidelines you can ensure both a respectful and a managed process, thus avoiding the appearance of the redundancies being somehow furtive or shameful. Two key areas the guidelines might usefully cover are:

1. Distribution:

For practical purposes, team members and internal ‘customers’ need to know that a colleague is leaving and how their work is being handled in future. Due to the numbers that may be leaving within a fairly tight timeframe, the communication should be targeted at those who need to know rather than to the wider team.

2. Make it personal:
The content of the email should recognise an individual’s career with the organisation and their contribution to the business, both professionally and the extra-curricular activities they might be known for. A nice touch might be to check with them whether they want to review / add their own message.

If it was you having to accept redundancy, how would you like to be treated?


About madeleinekavanagh

Internal comms specialist with a career spanning advertising, car sales and management consulting. My greatest legacy (so far) - my son!
This entry was posted in Authentic communication, Culture, Leadership Behaviours, Middle management, People management / motivation, Personal Values and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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