Making employees redundant is never easy. If you are keen to keep your reputation and PR in tact and look after the staff who have worked hard to achieve their and your business goals here are a few pointers to help you do so on a budget.
1. Help them market themselves
Provide them with training in the key areas of presentation. I would suggest as a minimum CV advice, Interview training and LinkedIn training. If your budget can be extended how about social media training with regards to job seeking and research, cover letter advice, salary negotiating, how to find a job quicker and how to stand out as a candidate. Could an in house employee do this? Or could you outsource this and ask someone to come and speak to them?
2. Thank them
Personally thank every one of the people that you need to let go. Why not send them a personal letter as a recent client did with excellent results. You could send a personalised present or gift for example What to do next? (Available on Amazon) with the letter to thank them.
3. Additional skills training
There are good platforms out there that could help. LinkedIn for example has LinkedIn learning, which has over 9,000 courses that can develop talent and keep skills current. Organisations can buy into a package, which will allow their redundant employees access to these courses. There are government courses that you could look into and individual IT skills courses that various companies run. Perhaps ask your exiting staff which training would be most relevant and useful for them and the correct level so that the assistance is targeted and not wasted.
Rather than buying into a big outplacement package where people are provided with a number of sessions of coaching why not tailor it to what they need. Match the coach and employee personality wise and also the specific coaching requirement to who is best to deliver it. Again ask those who are being let go what they need and tailor it.
5. Facilitate introductions
Can you approach a similar or connected company that may need to employ the kind of candidates you are letting go? Is your organisation part of an umbrella of organisations, do you have any sister companies or offices abroad? Do any of your network run similar organisations who you could approach? Or have you seen any companies advertising recently that you could approach?
6. Tap up your network
Can you utlise your network and make some introductions for those you have to let go? Even if the answer to the above (number 5 point) is no – do you have any useful connections or contacts that might help your employees in the future. Perhaps look through your LinkedIn contact list for this.
Can you talk to the agencies that you have used to recruit staff in the past and ask them to help those that are now looking for work. Use these relationships. Could you invite them in to speak to the group? They should be very happy to assist you. Some may even have some opportunities for your exiting staff or offer IT skills training.
Would it be an idea to ask a LinkedIn employee to come in and speak to those you are letting go. To talk through their linked in premium, their job search app and other techniques on looking for work. In my last company someone came in to see us and spoke through their recruitment package so maybe you could combine the meeting with a chat with you first for future needs?
9. Write your staff testimonials and references
These could be done on LinkedIn as testimonials or endorsements or in written form if your company policy allows it. This should really help them moving forward.
Are there any opportunities to hire some of the redundant employees on a temporary or part time basis to assist you with overflow work whilst they look for their next position?
Could you offer a months mentoring for those that you are letting go and perhaps assign some senior staff to be an exiting sounding board? Boundaries will need to be put in place on this as as to not over run their time, however perhaps it would be a nice gesture to offer them and show you care.
12. Doing things differently
Can you communicate with them as their boss leader that you want to do things differently and that you care about their well being. Communication at the early stages I think is key. Being open and transparent about the process and how you are going to help them moving forward. The leader of the company being involved in this message will have added impact.
About the author: Charlotte Billington is a Career Coach. Last year she wrote the book What to do Next? which is a self awareness practical exercise book which has proved very helpful for those found in a redundancy situation on a budget.