As the UK furlough scheme draws to a close, we will sadly see a rise in job losses and redundancies. The pandemic continues to have a huge financial impact, and many employers are having to make tough decisions. Here at Triple Three Solutions, we highly value mental health and know that redundancies can be incredibly stressful, without a pandemic on top! In fact, job loss is up there with illness and bereavement as one of the most stressful life changes.

The way difficult situations are managed this year will have a lasting effect on business’ reputations, both internal and external. This in mind, our HR Advisors want to help make things a little bit easier for everyone involved. In this blog, we’ll be discussing some of the psychological impacts of change and giving some tips for managing redundancies with compassion. For full information on the redundancy process itself, please get in touch.

How change causes stress:

How do you react to change? For many, whether good or bad, change can cause a huge deal of stress and anxiety. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt our lives and businesses, it’s crucial to recognise the effects on employee (and your own) mental health. Considering that, we have been looking at the Kubler-Ross model: also known as ‘The Stages of Grief’, or ‘The Change Curve’.

‘The Change Curve is based on a model originally developed in the 1960s by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross to explain the grieving process. Since then it has been widely utilised as a method of helping people understand their reactions to significant change or upheaval.’ – www.exeter.ac.uk

Triple Three Solutions Kubler Ross Change Curve

Organisations can use The Change Curve to help understand, manage and deal with change. It’s a useful tool in predicting the effects of change, and any support that individuals or the business might need. However, it’s important to remember that people won’t always move through the stages step-by-step, and may even get ‘stuck’ or go backwards.

Compassionate Redundancies:

Even without the added challenges of COVID-19, redundancies are a delicate process that should be conducted with sympathy and respect. In a previous blog, we spoke about how company culture is improving due to the pandemic. However, for many, this will be a lengthy task. Because of this, we’ve outlined some of the main issues to keep in mind when addressing redundancies right now.

Communication is key: Where possible, employees should be contacted at every stage of the redundancy process. In usual circumstances, we’d state the importance of having any redundancy conversations face to face. However, this is perhaps not an option at the minute. Video or phone calls are the next best options, as they allow for the most genuine interaction and understanding. Always avoid communicating important, life-changing decisions by email, text or social media, as it’s likely to create conflict and confusion.

Support & Guidance: There are a variety of ways you can offer support to staff facing redundancy. Ensure they know what options and resources are available, such as ACAS or the JobCentre Plus. If possible, you could give them time off for interviews or to prepare for redundancy in other ways. In regards to mental health, ideally, your organisation will have emotional support systems in place. If not, encourage your employees to contact their GP or charities such as Mind (who have advice on managing redundancy and COVID) and The Samaritans.

333 Can Help:

Overall, managing redundancies is always an incredibly hard task and COVID-19 has added many obstacles. Here at Triple Three Solutions, we have years of experience in challenging and sensitive situations. In this blog, we have addressed the basics, but for more help on conducting redundancies or any other HR Issues, please get in touch. Call us on 0333 050 3330 or contact us via email at lisa@triplethreesolutions.co.uk.