Redundancy with Compassion
New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings, Lao Tzu
Facing redundancy is one of the more traumatic experiences of any employee. Managers also find making colleagues redundant very unpleasant. When you hear the dreaded words, “your role is at risk of redundancy”, you become awash with many emotions, many negatives usually but positives can also be found.
Optimism – a new door will open; now’s the time to clear the head and put new plans in place
Relief – Having felt stuck in a rut, you now feel ready for fresh pastures
Appreciation – with your financial settlement, you can now clear some lingering debts and sleep better
You’ve hit the brick wall – it’s impossible to see beyond the entrance door of your current employer. You feel paralysis
Insecurity – trepidation that you cannot pay the bills
Fear – that things will only go downhill and uncertainty over whether you will find a new job
Self-denigration – you blame yourself for the situation, even where others are in the same position
The employer can do much to alleviate the dread of redundancy. It is crucial not to focus on the technical ‘how to’ at the expense of ‘how can I create a positive impact for the person affected’? An employer can assist greatly by offering tangible, compassionate support in the form of career counselling and advice; this has a hugely beneficial impact.
Benjamin had worked in an engineering role for 10 years in a small enterprise. He loved his job, and his employers were “very decent people”. When he discovered his role would be made redundant, he felt shattered and bewildered. Because of his age, he felt it would be tough to find a new job. Thoughtfully, his employer offered career coaching support. Through several one-to-one coaching sessions, Benjamin created 3 CVs showcasing his skills in different ways and appropriate cover letters. He was given intensive interview practise and experienced an enormous boost to his confidence.
The outcome was that Benjamin was offered two positions and used the advice of the coach to weigh up the pros and cons of each position. Both positions met his long-held plan to relocate to be nearer his family. This was a completely unexpected and desirable outcome for him.
Here at Lotus, we advise many clients on managing redundancy compassionately, producing a win-win for all those involved. Employees find career coaching priceless in assisting their transition and their mental health wellbeing.