Redundancy has become an increasingly common tool for employers to deal with the financial aftermath of the pandemic.
It is clearly an unsettling time for employees, colleagues, and employers themselves.
The furlough scheme is ending on 30 September 2021 and some of the 11.6 million jobs it has supported are going to be left vulnerable. That is why it is crucial to create an offboarding plan to help the process go as smoothly as possible.
What is offboarding?
Offboarding is the process for employees leaving a business and confirms that all information, such as contacts and systems that they have access to, are returned to the business. If an employee’s departure is not managed correctly, security, client relationships and staff morale in the business could all be in jeopardy.
Unlike retirement or resignation, the mood is slightly more sombre as this would not always have been a voluntary decision of the outgoing employee. The leaver could feel a sense of rejection and their colleagues could feel uncomfortable or uncertain about the security of their jobs. These are the type of factors that you must consider when planning your offboarding process.
How should employers act towards the leaver?
As an employer, you would have explained why the decision has been made to let the former employee go.
Towards the end of their employment, you should also make time for an exit interview. This will allow the leaver to speak candidly about their views of their line manager, their role itself and the business more generally.
This could enable them to get things off their chest that the company can benefit from for having a closer insight as to how to improve in the future.
It can also give you an indication of whether the leaver is at risk of suing or criticising your business publicly.
Additionally, an employer must ensure that the leaver hands back all business assets they have access to – whether this is computers, vehicles, or any other equipment. IT should also be contacted about their departure to ensure that they can no longer access systems, shared drives, and folders. In terms of emails, it is important that an out of office alert is put on and email redirection is put in place.
One of the most important aspects to consider is helping them leave on good terms.
Redundancy is not something anyone wishes for, but it can often lead to better opportunities. Therefore, employers should give their time and support to help leavers find new employment and make sure they are leaving with their confidence restored.
How should employers act towards the rest of the workforce?
Redundancies will affect everyone in a business and some colleagues will feel upset to be losing a friend.
However, the general feeling might be one of anxiety about job security.
Consequently, it is essential that employers communicate with their workforce throughout the offboarding process.
Redundancy consultations are supposed to be private issues, but they rarely stay private for long. Therefore, you must keep communication as a top priority before any panic sets in.
Employers should notify staff that redundancies are taking place and explain why. For some, responsibilities may increase as they take over more workload.
In these cases, separate meetings should be arranged to conduct a thorough handover. These should be carried out in a discreet and respectful manner.
At HR Caddy, we have always believed in getting to understand our clients’ businesses, their needs, and their culture first.
Our expertise enables us to take on the burden of managing and delivering specialist projects leaving you to concentrate on your key responsibilities and your business.
For more help or advice approaching redundancies, please contact us today.