While this period of redundancy and lay-offs may be hard to manage as a business, it’s likely the aftermath may be just as challenging. For those staff lucky to keep their jobs, they may feel threatened of further risk in the future. They may feel guilty that they have been able to stay on while fellow colleagues have not, resulting in negativity towards your business.
Your HR team can act as a catalyst to boost staff morale in such incidence as this. As they say, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and neither can your business’ reputation be rebuilt as quickly. Leveraging the skills and talent of your HR team is crucial. Here’s why:
Loss of Loyalty
Periods of job loss can be a tough road to navigate. With different policies for different types of workers, legalities and a host of other related issues, it can be hard to keep focus on what matters – your staff. Regardless of their situation, they should always be at the forefront of any decisions.
Often, job loss can leave existing colleagues anxious for their own future. This can impact not only on their morale but in their long-term loyalty towards your business. With fears for the jobs in the future, many of your staff may begin looking elsewhere for a job with better prospects.
Maximise the potential of your HR team by ensuring that communication to all staff about these changes is a top priority. Explain fully why any redundancies are made and if you intend to keep certain staff on, communicate this to them. This will avoid any unnecessary anxiety amongst colleagues, keeping them onside and loyal towards your plan for your organisation in the future. While you may have been forced to lose valuable skills and talent due to financial constraints, this doesn’t mean that you can’t retain the talent that you have left; boosting staff morale by communicating all changes to your business will maximise loyalty and your future talent retention.
Rebuilding Your Reputation
It might take a decade to build a reputation in business, but a period of job loss can wipe this away, harming the perception of your organisation both internally and externally. Internally, your existing staff may distrust your plans for the future, feel guilty to those colleagues who have lost their jobs, impacting on their capacity to remain loyal to you. But your HR team can help with that.
Facilitate one-to-ones and focus groups of staff where you, as a business, can personally thank them for their loyalty towards your organisation, while listening to their concerns over any recent job losses. Ask your staff questions about how they feel regarding the situation, and where they would like to see change. But remember: don’t just ask, listen! It is all well and good leveraging your HR staff to organise these discussions, but if you don’t listen, you can’t act on any feedback.
Without action, your reputation will remain poor and you may struggle to retain talent and keep staff onside. It may be a challenge but your HR team are here to help.
Keeping ‘Human’ at the Heart of Business
The clue is in the name – Human Resources. Job loss, financial insecurity, stress – these are all issues that can challenge staff – your humans!
Your HR team and their skills have the potential to make a lasting difference to your business in the aftermath of job loss. Keep human and personal to your staff by facilitating discussions, using feedback and communicating effectively why you have had to make cuts, how this will help your business and your staff in the future, and what you need from your colleagues within your organisation.
We are all people at the end of the day, and your people will appreciate your efforts as a business to remain personable and approachable during any period of job loss.