Redundancy seen from the other side

first_imgRedundancy seen from the other sideOn 2 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Well, I have become a statistic. I am an unemployed international HR guy.This happened very recently – a mix of the downturn in the US high-tech sectorand the margin pressures in telecoms. We went through a 20 per cent worldwidereduction in headcount, and, to our CEO’s credit, executives were maderedundant in proportion to staff. Like most HR people, I have sat on the employer side of this situation manytimes, in the US and in other countries. I have been the “corporate badguy”, jetting into a foreign country and releasing expats and local staff.Sitting on this side of the desk is an altogether new experience. Now I havehad some time to reflect, I have some thoughts on redundancies. Don’t be obsessive over this, but your CV should always be updated. Wheneveryou achieve something notable, take a moment to edit it in. Periodically, get afriend or mentor to look at it and give you feedback. Everyone is swamped with work. The 1990s re-engineering and workforcetightening left us all with heavy workloads, but are you in touch withcolleagues at other companies? Do you return phone calls from headhunters? Areyou active in local HR groups? Whether you are a national officer for CIPD, oryou chair the Milton Keynes Special Interest Group on pensions, you should seekout opportunities to remain visible, demonstrating that there’s more to youthan just your work. Don’t fall into the trap of focusing on the present. If you are acompensation specialist, just because you don’t currently work with stockoptions, that is no excuse for not knowing current best practices in that area.Live within your means – although this is easier said than done. Look at yourpersonal finances, and then project how long you can last if there are no morepaychecks. Detailed planning of redundancies is critical, and usually comes to restwith HR. You must work everything into a project plan, and then ensure everyoneinvolved is agreed and supportive. Once the notifications have taken place, start communicating with theremaining employees, and don’t stop. They need to know they can get back towork, that their colleagues have been provided for, and that the business mustgo on. Ideally, your MD will share their thoughts with the team at large. For my part, I think I’m going to be OK. Agreed, this is a bad economy inwhich to be out job hunting, and the events of 11 September did nothing toimprove that. This won’t be a simple journey, but I’m pressing on and lookingat a variety of ways to move forward in my career. By Lance Richards, member of the board of directors for SHRM Global Forumand the Editorial Advisory Board of Personnel Today sister publication GlobalHR Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img