How to improve communication with employees during periods of change

06/09/2014

blue and orange lightsImprove communication

Redundancy is often used as a last resort by companies that are struggling financially.  Restructuring their business is often necessary in order to succeed. With restructuring comes change, and those involved can often find it difficult to cope. It is not only those employees who you must let go who suffer, but also those who remain. As an employer it is up to you to see that both parties receive the support they need. That’s where outplacement providers such as Renovo can help. Our outplacement service can provide employees who have been made redundant with the help and guidance they need to move forward.  This will leave you to focus on your remaining staff members and the future of your business. Communication is key during periods of change, so take on board these tips to improve communication in future.

Don’t forget about those who remain

If you’re considering outplacement then you’ve presumably chosen to focus some of your attention on your departing employees. This is certainly commendable, but employees who remain following redundancy will need your attention just as much.  They may be worried about whether there are more upcoming redundancies and might consider leaving on their own terms.  To retain the employees you have left, ensuring they remain focused on their work, communicate clearly why redundancies are necessary. Ensure they can trust you when you tell them that they are safe in their positions within the company.

Be honest and clear about your motives

There are laws that state you must give those you are making redundant clear and suitable reasons why they have been selected. It is also important to communicate the reasons for change with your entire staff base. There’s no point hiding anything from them; if you want to be able to work as a team and rely on their hard work and support to help you company through redundancy, you’ll need to be honest and explain clearly why you have to make these changes. It might be that after redundancy you need to restructure your business, moving various employees into different roles within the business, so you must explain your reasons clearly and let them know in advance if you can so that they have time to register the information.

Include them in your decision-making

If you want your employees to feel as though they are valued members of the company then you should include them in the decision-making process. Even before you have decided who to make redundant and why, during your consultations with the possible candidates you should always ask for their advice and provide them with the opportunity to make alternative suggestions. You might find that you have several volunteers for redundancy, making your job much easier, or that some of your employees might be happy reducing their hours and taking a pay cut instead. If you don’t communicate with them, you’ll never know.

Ensure communication is ongoing

You might communicate clearly with both candidates for redundancy and your remaining staff members before any changes are made. However, it is very important that communication is ongoing throughout the transitional period and beyond. Suddenly going quiet and refusing to speak to your employees when they approach you will only encourage them to become concerned. This means they’ll struggle to remain productive. Organising weekly meetings with your remaining colleagues to keep them up-to-date will reassure them that should they have any concerns they can speak to you about them. Whilst the employees you have made redundant will have the support of their outplacement provider and personal career coach, your remaining employees will only have you.

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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