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Redundancy is an upsetting time for employees, colleagues, employers and their customers, and getting it wrong could result in legal action or reputational damage. Putting a comprehensive offboarding plan in place may help the process go smoothly, writes Ian Moore.
With the furlough scheme coming to a close on 30 September, some of the 11.6 million jobs it has supported could be in jeopardy.
The redundancy process can be upsetting and complicated for all involved and the temptation is to get the leaver out as quickly as possible to minimise upset and disruption. However, this could cause more harm than good, unless a robust offboarding programme is followed.
To start, let’s explain the term offboarding. It’s likely you’re already very familiar with onboarding which is the programme a business follows to introduce new starters to their new role and workplace in order to progress to optimum productivity as quickly as possible. Crossboarding is when an individual takes a new job within their existing company and it works in a similar way.
Offboarding is for employees leaving a business and confirms that all the information, contacts and systems they have access to are returned to the business, and operations are disrupted as little as possible. Imagine the implications for security, client relationships and staff morale if an employee’s departure isn’t managed carefully.
With retirement or resignation, it’s the employee’s decision to leave and so the mood is typically positive. There’s often even a party. For redundancies however, it can be traumatic for everyone involved. The leaver can feel rejected, their colleagues can feel uncomfortable or uncertain of the security of their own jobs, and then there are also the feelings of clients and customers to consider. All of these individuals need to be factored into your offboarding plan.
As part of the redundancy consultation, you would have provided the leaver with an explanation of why the decision has been made, outplacement support and time off (if needed) as well as a schedule of the process from beginning to end.