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Redundancy is a tricky topic to tackle for any organisation, and it's vital to communicate it well to your people.
When it comes to a company making people redundant, it can mean difficult conversations, uncertain times and a worried workforce. How redundancy is communicated is key to ensuring it’s managed well to help people feel informed and secure. There are a few important pillars to bear in mind and build into your redundancy communications which we’ve laid out here…
Use line managers
Line managers should be your key communicators during times of uncertainty. They should be equipped with the knowledge and tools to discuss organisational changes with their teams. When people are questioned on who their leaders are, they rarely look to senior leaders and directors, but instead to their line managers, so it’s important for these figures to have the information and guidance to support people through difficult times.
Information should be shared with line managers first, and filtered down to colleagues through them. When people hear bad news it’s better that it comes from someone that they trust – hopefully that’s their line manager.
It’s also important to remember that line managers will require support too in these trying times. If they feel supported and empowered to support others, it’s much more likely that the whole process will run smoothly for everyone.
Own the narrative
Even when redundancy or restructure plans are being kept under wraps, employees may still sense a shift and feel unsettled. Ensuring that the news comes from within the organisation is essential. By telling the story, people know all the facts upfront and rumours don’t start and snowball out of hand.
During tricky times, employees will appreciate being kept in the loop and hearing regular updates, even if there’s not much to update them on. If they feel as though things are being kept from them, they are likely to feel less valued and therefore less secure. Telling them what you know in a considerate way, that avoids jargon and is personal is the best way to communicate big change, especially when it’s not necessarily good news.
It’s all about people
Last, but most certainly not least, remember that at the centre of it all are people who will be worried and perhaps upset and that keeping them up to date and informed is of the utmost importance. Keeping your communications human, regular and keeping the wellbeing of colleagues in mind can help to soften the blow of what’s happening.
If you need some help with communicating redundancy sensitively, get in touch, we’re here to help.