Avoiding redundancy: what are your options?

06/01/2013

man hurdling from belowIn an instance of workplace restructuring, the last thing you’ll want to do is make your long-serving employees redundant. While it may feel like there is no other option, in many circumstances the last resort of redundancy can be avoided by taking a number of alternative steps. It may be that you never need to undertake career support and outplacement services after all, retaining your employees instead. Take a look at just five of the alternatives to redundancy you can explore to help with avoiding redundancy.

Make temporary layoffs 

Sometimes, the financial woes and practical concerns that lead to workplace restructuring are, in fact, only temporary. While such circumstances can be damaging in the short term, you may find that your business is able to recover just a few months down the line – it would be a shame to have lost a number of dedicated employees when such a scenario could have been avoided. Choosing to lay off your employees for the short term while your business recovers may seem severe, but once their jobs are restored they’ll appreciate the fact that you didn’t make them permanently redundant after all.

Transfer employees to another department

If there’s no way your department can continue to function whilst retaining every one of your employees, redundancy may seem to be the only option. In reality, you do have a number of other choices, potentially including transferring your staff to another department. It may be that your company is recruiting elsewhere, in another department or another location and if so, it makes sense to give your staff the option of a transfer. Your company will save money on recruitment while avoiding redundancy.

Offer voluntary redundancy and early retirement

One of the most difficult aspects of workplace restructuring is choosing the appropriate candidates for redundancy, particularly when it can seem as though everyone has a convincing argument for retention! Instead of having to make that difficult choice, offer voluntary redundancy and early retirement for some of your employees. It may be that some of your employees have other options elsewhere or were considering a career transition anyway; in the long run, you could be doing everyone a favour.

Reduce hours

There are those occasions when you will have no other option than to reduce the expenses you’re lavishing on your staff, either through redundancy or by other means. Instead of saving money by making employees redundant, however, why not consider reducing the hours of some employees? You can cease offering overtime and often save as much as a single redundancy, without having to worry about adversely affecting employee morale in the same way.

Layoff contractors and freelancers

If your options are really limited, you may be staring redundancy in the face without the hope of any alternative. If you’re looking at losing staff, your permanent employees should not be the first to go. If your company employs contract workers and freelancers, you should consider laying them off before making your permanent employees redundant, as their career flexibility will help them to recover more quickly. Whilst it may seem counter-intuitive, offering contractors permanent positions on fixed-term contracts could actually save you more money overall because of their reduced salary expectations with additional job security.

All of the above options should be considered before resorting to redundancy, but in some circumstances you’ll be left with no other choice. Fortunately, our outplacement support services are there to make redundancy more manageable for both your company and its employees, so contact us today to find out more about how we can help.

Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email info@renovo.uk.com

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