Can you transition staff without hard feelings?

It’s a pressing question many organisations who are about to embark on change and restructure ask and the answer is yes – provided you have the right approach to redundancy.

At the end of the day transitioning employees want three things from employers – significance, support and sensitivity.

Significance

Unexpected redundancy can be a big blow to an employees self-esteem. Their role and work for whatever reason is no longer needed or of benefit to your company. In their mind, they have become irrelevant and insignificant.

When you consider that one of our fundamental needs as humans is to have a purpose and to be needed, the first step you can take to eliminate hard feelings is to separate a transitioning employee from their role and renew their sense of significance. Offer personal anecdotes about their time with your company, mention their achievements and talk to them about the difference they have made in your organisation while being there.

A simple conversation along the lines of “While we have had to make this role redundant, I just want to take a few minutes to personally thank you and recognise your contribution to this company” can go along way.

Support

Keep in mind that redundancy doesn’t only impact an employees self-esteem, it can also disrupt their comfort zone and throw out their entire routine, leaving them questioning their career and life choices.

Navigating the job market if you haven’t been in it for quite a while can be overwhelming and trying to make important life decisions like whether to keep in the same industry, change careers, become a consultant, start a business or retire, can be difficult when in a highly stressful or emotional state.

One of the worst things you can do for a transitioning employee at this stage is to leave them without a life raft as you sail away. If you do you can guarantee there will be reputational damage, you just won’t know on what scale.

Outplacement and career transition programs are a life raft to your transitioning employees. It says, “I know this next step may seem a little scary, though we want you to know that we will be providing you with the support and training you need to make sure you have a smooth transition into your next career.”

Sensitivity

Transitioning employees can experience a wave of emotions as they are transitioning out of the workplace and while some staff may have a short transition period, others may be there for a while.

It’s important to keep in mind that your transitioning employees will feel on the outer, and can often be wondering what others are thinking about them. As a leader, it’s important to set the right example and take the time to talk to transitioning employees and appreciate and acknowledge them, not avoid them. Continue to maintain a culture of inclusion within your organisation.

If you can offer your employees significance, support and sensitivity during their time of transition then yes, you can most definitely transition staff without hard feelings. In fact, they might just leave singing your praises.

Need help transitioning your staff without hard feelings? Call the transition experts, Turning Point Partners today on 1300 27 83 45.

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