Large scale redundancies are all too common in business, especially in the North Sea at the moment. They mean huge uncertainty and massive change for remaining employees. So, how can we make it easier for them and help minimise the impact of redundancies on a business?
Firms facing large personnel losses will need to manage the loss of talent and knowledge. There can also be a risk of low morale and a drop in employee engagement which can have serious consequences for performance and productivity.
But risk can be reduced by change management activities which help prepare the business and its people for the changes ahead.
Here are 5 tips for reducing the negative impact of streamlining on the business:
- Get under the skin of the challenges facing the business. This is about really knowing the business; its people, its culture and heartbeat. Carrying out an impact analysis, stakeholder mapping and training needs analysis will help you identify where skills and knowledge might be lost when employees leave and where and how to focus your engagement and communication efforts.
- Give staff a roadmap of change. Large scale change can cause huge uncertainty. Outlining what to expect in a roadmap helps people to see the reasons behind the changes and the vision for the future. Interactive roadshows are ideal for breathing life into the roadmap and creating conversations; ensuring communication is two way. Leadership needs to communicate its vision in a way that inspires and involves people and that means getting in front of them and giving them a chance to air their concerns, be heard and get some answers.
- Regular, relevant and engaging internal communications. Carry out a channel analysis and provide what the audience want, in the way they want and when they want it. Rebrand existing collateral where needed and be creative to really showcase the value and pride that staff have in their work and company.
- Take a pulse check. Are your communications having the reach and impact they need to? Have you implemented measurement? Use a survey or other tools to carry out a ‘pulse check’ and measure against established metrics. This will give valuable insights and feedback but you must act on it. Employees must be meaningfully involved with change and be able to have genuine input.
- Knowledge sharing. Large scale change can mean a loss of valuable skills, knowledge and talent. It’s important to engage with those going and those staying. Multi-media will bring knowledge transfer and training and learning to life and provide active knowledge share capability. Create ‘pride stories’ and the desire to leave a legacy in the form of great knowledge transfer. For those staying, establish where the gaps in knowledge exist and maximise opportunities for them to ‘be a sponge’ before their colleagues leave. This will help retain the expertise and knowledge of ‘how things are done around here,’ which inevitably are not documented in any process.
Large scale redundancies are challenging for remaining employees and there needs to be careful and consistent change management and a real focus on people. How you know them, involve them, prepare them and deliver to them will affect future profitability.
Take our free online Change Readiness Assessment