19 Jul Redundancy Tips #3
Step 3 is to keep up the communication
Whilst you may be tempted to retreat to your office with your tin-hat on once the announcement has been made and the consultations are under-way, it’s important to keep up the momentum and keep the open and honest dialogue going.
Walk the floor
Walk the floor each day and talk to employees informally to temperature check engagement levels. Encourage questions, talk about the Company’s growth strategy, invite the team’s input and ensure that each person remaining with the Company understands what they can do personally to ensure the Company’s long-term profitability.
Surface hidden concerns
Remember that employees may not tell you what they are really thinking and may be guarded so you may have to work hard to surface any hidden concerns. Ask what are your concerns? Is there anything about the Company’s growth strategy or the recent redundancy announcement that isn’t clear to you?
Use active listening to what’s said (and also unsaid!) and your powers of observation to identify what’s really going on. When you’re the boss people often only tell you what they think you want to hear (particularly given that others are losing their jobs) so you may need to work hard to get people to be open and honest.
It’s also important to ensure that your leadership team also role model the same behaviours so that you form a guiding coalition. Meet with them regularly one-on-one to surface any hidden concerns that they themselves might have.
Equip line managers
Ensure that line managers are also equipped to surface any hidden concerns during one to one and team meetings. It’s very seldom that the first thing someone tells you is what’s worrying them the most. The 5 whys is an excellent technique to get to the heart of what’s going on – you basically keep asking ‘why’ until you understand the route cause of someone’s concerns.
Consider setting up an employee forum with representatives from all employee groups. Encourage them to talk to their teams about why redundancies were made; how you tried to avoid these and what the Company needs to do to ensure its long-term future. Ask them to explore these themes with their teams; surface hidden concerns and feeds these back to you so that you can review your engagement strategy.