Managing Employees In the Consultation Period
Many organisations we are working with at the moment are facing restructuring programmes. Some of them have made the decision to make redundancies in one hit and others have decided to take a more measured approach and are losing a few individuals at a time. Our key learning from this is that every organisation has to do what is right for them at the time.Most of our readers will be aware that there is some form of consultation period required by law. Employers cannot let individuals go without this so the best approach is to accept this and use the time wisely.
The key difficulty with the consultation period is that employee engagement during this time is a challenge. Employees naturally get very disengaged with the business. They believe that they will be leaving in a few weeks so why bother presenting a brave face, staying motivated or in the least operating on business as usual?
The situation is they are still under contract. Until you have dismissed someone you want to keep them “on side”.
Below are our five top tips to maintaining motivation during a consultation period:
Be honest with the employees regarding alternative opportunities in the organisation. Actively encourage the employee to explore opportunities.
Ensure that they know that this is a fair process and that a selection criteria will be applied where people are competing for roles
Allow employees paid time to go off site to attend interviews but make it clear that they have to get prior agreement for this
Keep communication up for everyone in your organisation not just the affected employees. Set up working groups, liaise with unions even post updates on your intranet. Leaving employees in the dark will cause unnecessary anxiety
Manage the individuals workload and ensure that they can be kept busy and provide praise and feedback to let them know that you appreciate their commitment. The feedback and praise will be useful in strengthening their applications for their next role.